Thing to Do: Outdoor Adventure

Visiting Eastern Nebraska: Family-Friendly Destinations Near the Missouri River

For all of you adventurous travelers with families out there: the Missouri River offers exciting year-round activities and events perfect for vacations with family and friends, or even a relaxing solo trip. In fact, the longest river in the United States provides excellent recreational opportunities such as canoeing, kayaking, fishing, boating, and more. And yet, have you ever considered visiting the communities and towns along the Missouri River? Consider visiting Eastern Nebraska, an area filled to the brim with must-see destinations that are also part of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail for your next adventure! 

Not sure where to go? Along the Missouri River, visiting Eastern Nebraska features dozens of unique cities, towns, and villages with their own charming history. Consider visiting Eastern Nebraska, an area perfect for finding family-friendly activities! Visiting Eastern Nebraska today will offer you everything from outdoor recreation to exciting local festivals! Keep reading to find out more about the top 10 family-friendly locations that are worth visiting in Eastern Nebraska.

Visting Eastern Nebraska has an abundance of destinations for families with children to visit!
Visiting Eastern Nebraska has an abundance of destinations for families with children to visit!

1. Bellevue

Want to get away for the weekend near the Missouri River while visiting Eastern Nebraska? Well, you’re in luck, as Bellevue, Nebraska features scenic nature trails at Fontenelle Forest as well as the opportunity for hiking, biking, camping, and boating! Feeling a little braver? Make a reservation at TreeRush Adventures located in the Fontenelle Forest! Guests ages 4 to adult can spend a day climbing, ziplining, and swinging through the Fontenelle Forest.

2. Blair

Blair is a quaint community nestled on the banks of the Missouri River, with tons of outdoor recreation and local activities for the whole family. Visit the DeSoto Chute National Wildlife Refuge to witness how wildlife and history intersect! For a family-friendly attraction, visit Skinny Bones Pumpkin Patch for exciting activities and events perfect for families with children.

3. Brownville

Looking for a quaint small town away from the hustle and bustle? Visit Brownville, Nebraska near the Missouri River for everything from Lewis & Clark State Recreation area and the great outdoors to the arts, museums, and the theater! Don’t forget to have a quick bite and satisfy your sweet tooth afterward by coming to Gospel Coffee & Ice Cream!

The view of Arbor Lodge Mansion from Lied Lodge & Conference Center.

4. Dakota City

Dakota City is considered to be one of Eastern Nebraska’s oldest communities with tons of history to be explored! Come to Sportsmen’s Preserve, Cottonwood Cove Park, and more for incredible views, camping opportunities, and a chance to learn about the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail (LCNHT)!

5. Fort Calhoun

Do you like learning about history and learning new historical facts? Fort Calhoun is a community with a history you have to learn about! Visit and witness historical re-enactments up close at Historic Fort Atkinson State Historical Park. Fort Calhoun is also home to the Washington County Museum and the Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge. After a long day, enjoy a hot meal at The Rustic!

6. Nebraska City

For family fun, Nebraska City offers educational programming and history re-enactments at the Missouri River Basin Lewis and Clark Visitor Center! With programming, events, and activities for all ages, this is a fun and creative way to learn about American history! For the rest of the day, spend it at the  Arbor Lodge State Historical Park and the Wildwood Historic House, Victorian Garden, and Gift Shop.

Board the Keelboat replica while visiting Eastern Nebraska. Photo Credit: Opal Spidell

7. Niobrara

This Eastern Nebraska community along the Missouri River features an incredible array of outdoor, educational, and cultural activities! Just looking to relax on your day off? Niobrara State Park offers scenic and breathtaking views with so many outdoor experiences that you’re sure to find something you like! The state park has everything from camping and horseback riding to wildlife-watching opportunities. Visit in the summer months to witness the park’s famous buffalo cookout season. Interested in learning more about Native American culture and history? Visit the Ponca Educational Trail and Earthlodge and the Ponca Tribal Museum!

8. Omaha

Looking for a city with just about any activity or attraction you can think of? Visit Omaha in Eastern Nebraska and you’ll never run out of exciting places to explore and activities to do! If you’re an American history buff, we recommend visiting the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail headquarters at the Lewis & Clark Visitor Center. For other family-friendly activities, consider taking a trip to the Joslyn Art Museum, Durham History Museum, and the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium! Hungry? Omaha has great eats for affordable prices, especially considering how Omaha is where the Reuben sandwich was originally created! We personally recommend the Coneflower Creamery

9. Plattsmouth

As one of Eastern Nebraska’s oldest cities with a founding date of 1854, there’s never a boring, uneventful day in Plattsmouth, Nebraska. With tons of historical, cultural, and family-friendly activities, there’s never been a better time to visit! Come in the fall to participate in the annual Plattsmouth Harvest Festival or stop by the Schilling Wildlife Management Area for hiking, hunting, fishing, and picnicking opportunities! 

10. South Sioux City

South Sioux City is a charming small town in Eastern Nebraska that is home to unique attractions, including being a town where Meriwether Lewis and William

Clark passed through in 1804. The city features the Lewis and Clark Scenic Byway and the Outlaw Trail, a perfect destination for a family outing. Learn more about American history, visit state recreation areas, go fishing, and even witness the state’s tallest waterfall! Also, consider visiting Woodland Trails at the Winnebago Village Center to support local Native American businesses. This city also offers recreational activities year-round, such as fishing, golfing, hiking, and more!

Autumn River View Boardwalk Trail in Eastern Nebraska

Now that you’ve gotten a chance to learn more about what Eastern Nebraska has to offer, consider visiting Eastern Nebraska for your next vacation or when you are near the Missouri River. As a reminder, remember to support local businesses and shop local when you have the opportunity. They are counting on your support as visitors, so don’t delay a trip!

Consider visiting Eastern Nebraska and its plethora of great family-friendly destinations today!

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!  

Top 10 Public Farms in Southwest Montana

How to Fulfill Your Montana Farmhouse Fantasy 

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!

U-Pick Farms

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. 

U-pick options along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
U-pick options along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

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!

Overnight Stays

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

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! 

  • Bodhi Farms

 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!

 

  • SweetRoot Farm

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. 

Many public Montana farm stands are available for fresh produce along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
Many farm stands are available for fresh produce along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

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!

Public Montana farms are great places to take your children while on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
Public farms are great places to take your children while on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

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!

Bison Range

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!

Fall fun opportunities are a plenty on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
Fall fun opportunities are plenty on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

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! 

 

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our website and socials!

 

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 the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail or 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 auction to 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 the Dayton 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. 

Historical Sites
Established in the 1860s, many of Dayton’s historical structures still stand. Dayton’s Historic Courthouse of 1886 and the Smith Hollow Schoolhouse of 1900 have both been restored to allow tours. Built in 1881, Dayton boasts the oldest surviving train station in Washington state; museum today, visitors can tour the Dayton Historic Depot.

Outdoors
Managed by the Washington 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 fantastic fishing 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 out Chief 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!

A Perfect Day in Cincinnati: Top 10 Spots to Visit

The United States of America has some of the most diverse, engrossing, and spectacular cities within the world. Many of these cities are known throughout the world, being some of the reasons why numerous tourists visit America. New York City has extravagant sights, rich history, and diverse community. Boston contains a deep history, sports teams, and recognizable accent.  New Orleans presents enticing food, Mardi Gras parades, and classical music. All of these cities are revered for they’re respected cultures and communities, enthralling tourists with skyscrapers, national monuments, and iconic landmarks. A perfect day can be achieved in anyone of these cities.

However, we are going to highlight a different city. One that not only has fantastic sights, delicious foods, and awesome landscapes, but this particular city sits on one of the most famous rivers within America. This is known as Cincinnati, the Queen of the West. While not one of the more well known cities within America for tourists, Cincinnati holds many wonders that rival New York City, Washington DC, and Boston. Cincinnati contains several amazing locations and spots to visit. Today, we will explore these locations, reveal that Cincinnati is a unique experience for tourists of all kinds, and show the ten spots to visit in this amazing city. It’s a perfect day in Cincinnati! Let’s go!

Cincinnati Near the Ohio River
Reference Link: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-lighted-buildings-near-river-2570704/

Overview of Cincinnati

Founded in 1788, Cincinnati was the first major city built after the Revolution. It is considered by many as the “first America City,” since it was founded and built after America cut ties with the British Empire. The city has several nicknames. Such as Cincy, The ‘Nati, The Queen of the West, The Blue Chip city, and the City of Seven Hills. Since Cincinnati is located on the Ohio River, right across from Northern Kentucky, the nickname (The Queen City) was proclaimed by its citizens in 1820. Due to its location, Cincinnati is south of Route 70 and north of Route 64, making it a detour destination for any sight-seeing tourists. Lastly, Cincinnati is homed to several professional sports teams that bring it further notoriety. The teams being the Cincinnati Bengals, Reds, and Cyclones (Baseball, American Football, and Hockey).

Why it’s a Perfect Day in Cincinnati and Ten Spots to Visit

It’s a perfect day in Cincinnati! There are numerous locations, spots, and places that make Cincinnati an awesome area for exploration. Whether you are a lover of sports, food, history, nature, clothing, music, or animals, Cincinnati can meet all your needs. The Nation Park Service promotes Cincinnati for not only its geographical placement upon the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail (LCNHT), but for the various communities, businesses, and people who are set up on the trail. Whether you are planning a journey that takes you through the LCNHT or if you are simply planning a trip to Cincinnati, this list of ten spots for a perfect day can help you determine potential visiting locations. Without further ado, here are ten spots that make a perfect day while in Cincinnati.

Reference Link: https://www.pexels.com/photo/glowing-city-embankment-with-amusement-park-in-nighttime-3474830/

1: Seasongood Pavilion at Eden Park

Cincinnati is home to several city parks with many breathtaking sights. Eden Park is perhaps the most popular city park within Cincinnati. With numerous walkways, monuments, overlooks, buildings and lakes. One such site is the Seasongood Pavilion, a public setting that is in the south region of Eden Park. Nestled near the Elsinore Arch and Cincinnati Art Museum. The Seasongood Pavilion is used for music, social events, and photo galleries, as it is not only an amazing building, but it is extremely easy to access. If you are looking for an amazing place to take a photo, listen to some music, or participate in a social event, Seasongood Pavilion at Eden Park is the spot for you.

2: Pendleton Art Center

For any art lovers who wish to either tour a gallery or perhaps those interested in taking a class, the Pendleton Art Center is the spot for you. The Pendleton Art Center has a variety of activities, ranging from viewing various artists and their works, to taking classes at the center or participating in one of their numerous public events. The Art Center’s store contains a diverse array of art on display, which can be purchased or viewed virtually to better understand the events, along with what genre of art is being shown. The Pendle Art Center is a good place to visit for any passing tourist for either a quick browse or for those interested in the field of art. It brings out the variety to a perfect day in Cincinnati.

3: Taft Theatre

The Taft Theatre is one of numerous historic buildings within Cincinnati. An interesting fact about the theatre, it’s named after Charles Phelps Taft, the older brother of President William Howard Taft. Built in 1928 by the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, the theatre holds up to 2,500 people. It is not only a historical site, with a rugged 1920s appeal, but the preservation of the interior is like taking a step through time. The Taft Theatre is also home to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. This location is a must stop while in Cincinnati, as it is used for Broadway shows, concerts, comedies and other various special events that are open to the public. If you love the theater, the lights, and music, make your way down to the Taft Theatre.

4: William Howard Taft National Historic Site

The William Howard Taft National Historic Site is the restored, childhood house of President William Howard Taft. Several social events occurred here throughout history. One such event had James A. Garfield as a guest (before he became President). The historic site is divided into two sections, with the first building being the original house fully restored. The house has two levels, with the second floor holding exhibits of President Taft’s accomplishments. The second building operates as the National Historic Site’s Visitor Center, officially known as the Taft Education Center. This location is perfect for any lovers of history and tourists who wish to see a fully restored historic house.

5: The Eagle

Good food is the main-event for a perfect day. The sights, social events, and activities are the appetizers. Food can make an average day into a great day, or a good day into a perfect day. The Eagle is a house-brined restaurant, with various locations in major cities across the midwest. There is nothing more satisfying then after a long walk across a park or car trip through the city, then a nice, hot greasy meal. The Eagle serves sandwiches, salads, soups, sides, snacks, and unique cocktails that are worth a visit. Moreover, the Eagle has a very humbling and welcoming appeal to it. For anyone who is a beer lover, food lover, or is a hungry visitor to Cincinnati, the Eagle is a must see restaurant. You cannot have a perfect day in Cincinnati without food.

6: Old St. Mary’s Church

For anyone looking for a beautiful site to visit in Cincinnati, you’ll find no better spot than Old St. Mary’s Church. Built in 1840 by German immigrants, Old St. Mary’s Church is the oldest standing church in Cincinnati. Its Greek Revival Style is solemn and revering as it looms over the citizens of Cincinnati. Fun fact about the church, since 2017, it is the current home of the Cincinnati Oratory, which is a society of priests and brothers of The Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri. With a rich history and amazing view from within, Old St. Mary’s Church is like looking at a pillar worn by time, yet still preserved as if unaffected by it. Considered a landmark within Cincinnati, Old St. Mary’s sits within the historic neighborhood, Over-The-Rhine. Even if you are not religious, the church is a spectacular work of construction. It is a solemn stop for a perfect day in Cincinnati.

Old St. Mary's Church
Reference Link: https://unsplash.com/photos/_W8p_1OBkAw

7: Washington Park

While not the biggest city park within Cincinnati, Washington Park is one of the better known city parks with the iconic Cincinnati Music Hall standing in front of the park. It is a large, open park with numerous trees. There are several American Civil War cannons near the park, along with the busts of Civil Wars heroes Frederick Hecker and Colonel Robert Latimor McCook, who commanded the German 9th Ohio Infantry. The park is used for social events and is a general place to relax. Perfect days are for moments of relaxation. Washington Park provides a stress free zone with a wondrous atmosphere.

A Perfect day in Cincinnati in Washington Park
Reference Link: https://unsplash.com/photos/4JRj_6bfrvU

8: Boba Cha

A perfect day requires variety and what better way than visiting Boba Cha, a bubble tea store. For those who do not know, bubble tea is a tea-based beverage that originated in Taiwan. Bubble tea is a drink that is mixed with tea and milk or fruit with chewy tapioca pearls. Boba Cha also sells smoothies and slushies. It is the perfect place to get a nice, cool drink for a perfect day.

9: Castle of Air

Parks and gardens are famous within Cincinnati. Right on the edge of the Ohio River, in the Berry International Friendship Park, lies the Castle of Air. A pavilion placed in a public garden fashioned from four walls with an arched façade of polished steel and a system of mirrors. The architect, Peter Haimerl, named the pavilion the Castle of Air based on the European hunting lodge and summer place of the 18th century, similar to Pagodenburg and Amalienburg from the castle park of Nymphenburg. It is a perfect place for a picture or photo with friends and family.

10: Mirror Lake at Eden Park

Making our way back to Eden Park to cap off a perfect day, one should visit the illustrious Mirror Lake, which is one of the main attractions of the park. The biggest lake in a city park within Cincinnati deserves a visit to conclude the day. Or, you may wish to visit this place first and take a walk around the lake, as it is vast. There are plenty of perfect spots for a photo here and there.

And those are 10 spots that you should visit on a perfect day in Cincinnati. When the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail leads you to Cincinnati, give these places a visit and send pictures of your visit. Don’t forget to follow us while you’re in Cincinnati!

If you wish to learn more about the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, visit our website!

To learn more about the five regions of the trail, visit here!

Please visit here for information on getting involved with the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

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. 

View of Harpers Ferry in the fall
Harpers Ferry Photographed by Kaley Christman

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 Heights trail 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.

View of Harpers Ferry from above
View of Harpers Ferry from Maryland Heights, Photo from Pixabay 

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. 

View of Harpers Ferry railroad bridge

Photographed by Bruce Emerling on Pixabay  

Sit Down Dining 

1. The Rabbit Hole

186 High St, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425

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. 

Quicker Eats 

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.

Harpers Ferry Civil War History 

Cannons on a field

Photo from Pixabay 

Historic Information

The history of 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 Museum is 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.  

John Brown's Fort
John Brown’s Fort photographed by Pete Chacalos on Pixabay 

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

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. 

Experience midwestern culture and treat yourself to a rodeo.

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 out Angi’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.

Take in the beauty of twelve acres worth of peonies.

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 oJuly and you’ll be just in time for the Saline 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

Explore Southern Illinois by hiking through the 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?

Watch a motocross race at the Saline County Fair in Southern Illinois.

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.