Tag Archives: history

Journey Through Great Western Plains History

The Journey Museum in Rapid City, SD, houses a wealth of collections and exhibits of prehistoric and historic significance. From the age of dinosaurs, to the culture and custom of the Lakota people, the pioneers and their impact, up to modern day, you can explore the region’s rich history in a fascinating and interactive fashion, as you learn about the people and customs behind the history of the Mt. Rushmore region.

The museum’s collection focus on recording and retelling the story of the Western Great Plains from several perspectives. The Museum of Geology displays dinosaur fossils and replicas in realistic settings. Educational exhibits show the geological history of the Black Hills, with geologists at work for your observation.

The Journey Museum in Rapid City, SDThe Archaeological Research Center lets you experience the cultures of the historic and pre-historic people. Visit an archaeological dig site, and see artifacts from ancient hunters to the area’s first miners. The history of the Lakota Nation is told through the exhibits in the Sioux Indian Museum, where you can learn what life was like for the tribe, how the worked, played and hunted. You’ll be amazed by the extensive collection of arts and crafts created by the Sioux and displayed among the collection of Native American Artifacts.

The Pioneer Museum chronicles the arrival of the European settlers to the Great Plains. Their tale is told through the artifacts from mountain men, military and miners. Learn the history and devastation of Wounded Knee, and meet the historic figures who played prominent roles in the area’s history, like General Custer, Sitting Bull, Wild Bill Hickock, and Crazy Horse.

Las Vegas Food Tour

Get an insiders view of Las Vegas, and a true taste of Vegas history, culture, architecture and cuisine, on this unique walking tour that takes visitors beyond the glitz of the strip to non-tourist neighborhoods.

With all the hotels, shows, casinos, and tourists in Las Vegas, its easy to forget that the city is home to thousands, and has a history and culture that outsiders don’t easily recognize. This three-hour Downtown Las Vegas Food Tour divulges the Vegas connection to The Mob, the Mormons, and Marriage, as you stroll through the neighborhood, stopping in local restaurants, cafes, and specialty food stores, for samples of local favorites.

Sweet Spot Candy ShopThe stops vary but may include places like Rachel’s Kitchen Downtown at the Ogden, featuring wholesome and delicious entrees, and famous for their smoothies; Chicago Joe’s, Uncle Joe’s Pizza and a store dedicated to beef jerky.

The knowledgeable guides are entertaining and passionate about Las Vegas and the variety of food available.

Museum of Crime and Punishment

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be in a high-speed chase?  Or maybe break into a safe, or experience a wild-west style shoot out? What if you could test your ‘criminal’ skills, without actually committing a crime?  Or, maybe you’d prefer to test your skills at catching criminals.

The Washington DC Crime Museum features hands-on activities that will thrill your family as they try out the chase simulator, and the weapons simulator used by the FBI, and more than 20 other interactive stations related to crime and law enforcement.  Kids can have their digital fingerprint made and printed out for a keepsake.

National_Museum_of_Crime_and_Punishment_-_“Tommy”_machine_gun_(3407787775)The National Museum of Crime and Punishment is dedicated to exhibits relating to crime and its consequences, in America.  Historical exhibits of Colonial crime, pirates, Wild West outlaws, the Mob, serial killers, and white collar criminals, fill the 28,000 square foot space, with more than 700 artifacts displayed.  You can see the bullet riddled car Bonnie and Clyde were in on their last day, Ted Bundy’s VW Beetle, the snub-nose revolver from the Godfather film, and many other famous and infamous objects.

A visit to the museum will have you walking through a life-sized police station, complete with booking, police line-up, lie-detector, jail cell, even an electric char and lethal injection machine.  The exhibits range from the Colonial days to the latest forensic technologies.

The Crime MuseumYou’ll also see the actual set of the TV Show America’s Most Wanted, as well as historical exhibits of famous crime scenes.  The museum provides an interesting look at criminals, and the criminal justice system from the far past to the present.

The Historic Triangle

The Williamsburg area of Virginia is home to what is known as the Historic Triangle.  Made up of Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, and Yorktown, the area is a wealth of American history and committed to preserving a piece of the past for future generations.

Connecting the three historic sites, is the Colonial Parkway, which is maintained free of commercial development.  Visitors traveling the scenic, pastoral route are able to get a sense of how the area may have looked to the earliest Americans.

Jamestown Jamestown was the first permanent English Settlement in the ‘new world.’  Today it consists of the Jamestown Settlement; a living history museum where you can stroll through a reconstructed Native American Village, Colonial Fort and replicas of the three ships that brought the settlers; and Historic Jamestowne, which includes Jamestown Island, and ongoing archeological projects.

Colonial Williamsburg is a large living museum of early American life.  Immerse yourself in the Colonial period with restored and recreated buildings and period costumed actors displaying the crafts and customs of the time.

Yorktown Yorktown is the site where General Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington in 1781 in what was the last land battle of the American Revolution.  Historic exhibits fascinate guests to the Visitor’s Center, the area battlefields, and waterfront.

Never has American History been depicted in such an entertaining and vivid fashion as within the Historic Triangle.  Visit all three of these sites with our Best of Williamsburg Comprehensive Package.  Stay for six nights in your choice of more than 85 hotels, plus spend a day at Busch Gardens Williamsburg!

Historic Fort Mackinac

Situated on the Southern Bluff of Mackinac Island, 150 feet above the Straits of Mackinac is ten acres of history surrounded by stone walls.  Fort Mackinac has for more than 230 years stood as a witness to war and peace, and when you enter the historic stone walls, you are stepping into the 1880s.

The fort was built by the British during the American Revolution.  It was turned over to the United States in 1796, but surrendered peacefully very early in the War of 1812.  The British relinquished the Fort to the US at the end of that war.  It was used as a military fort, although abandoned through much of the Civil War and Western Expansion as Soldiers were commissioned to support war efforts elsewhere.

Historic Fort MackinacToday the Fort operates as an historical attraction with costumed interpreters portraying Fort life in the 1880s.  The soldiers regularly fire muskets and rifles, and even a cannon from 1841, positioned as one would have been during the bombardment of the War of 1812.

Fourteen original buildings on the site are open to the public, and have been restored and furnished with appropriate period settings, including the Officer’s Stone Quarters, which is the oldest building in the state of Michigan.  Other buildings include the Commissary, Post Hospital, Quartermaster’s Storehouse, and Soldiers’ Barracks.

Historic Fort MackinacSpecial exhibits present the complete history of Mackinac Island, Military Medicine at the Fort and hands-on interactive exhibits just for the kids.

An on-site Tea Room, operated by The Grand Hotel serves lunch, snacks and beverages.  And the Fort welcomes your well-behaved pets, even providing water bowls for their refreshment.

Plan to spend a few hours exploring Fort Mackinac while you’re visiting the island this summer.

Historical Adventure at Jamestown Settlement

Experience first hand what life was like for the brave men and boys of the 17th Century who built the first successful English Settlement on the main land of North America.  At Jamestown Settlement, Williamsburg, VA you can explore a re-creation of this first Colony.

The life size re-creations include a military fort for you to explore.  Walk through the modest homes, church and the Governors house, while all around you historical interpreters work as blacksmiths, and other period occupations.

Jamestown SettlementYou can discover the village of the Powhatan, home of Pocahontas and learn more about the relationship between these ‘locals’ and the new colonists.  A walk to the Jamestown Pier and you’ll find replicas of the three ships which brought the settlers to Virginia.  Explore the nooks and crannies aboard the Susan Constant, The Godspeed, and the Discovery.

In addition to the ‘living history’ exhibits you can also visit a museum filled with exhibition galleries covering the story of America’s beginnings.  Artifacts and films will educate you on American history from the first Colony in 1607, to the Revolution nearly two centuries later.  All in one day!

An historical adventure is waiting for you at Jamestown Settlement.

Shipwreck Museum and Light Station Tour

Just an hour from Mackinac Island on the shore of Lake Superior you’ll find the Great Lakes Shipwreck Coast Museum and the Whitefish Point Light Station, filled with artifacts from the historic shipwrecks and the bygone days of maritime transport on the Great Lakes.

The museum’s gallery is a testament to the sailors, ships, and history of our maritime heritage.  View artifacts from the wreckage of famous ships such as The Comet; a steamship that sank in 1875 carrying 70 tons of Montana silver ore, The Sagamore; a whaleback barge which was rammed by a steamer in the fog in 1901, and whose wreckage is part of an under-water museum, and  the Edmund Fitzgerald, immortalized in song by Gordon Lightfoot.Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum & Whitefish Point Light Station

You can also tour the Whitefish Point Light Station, where the Whitefish Point Light Tower has remained in continuous operation for more than 165 years.  From its early days, operating on whale oil, to its modern use of LED.  See the Lighthouse Keeper’s Quarters and the Coast Guard Crew Quarters – all restored to turn-of-the-century appearance.

Journey through this fascinating maritime history as a day-trip from Mackinac Island!

Excitement and Education at Stone Mountain Park

What is your family’s ideal summer vacation?  Adventure?  Entertainment?  Thrill Rides?  Nature?  History?

You can get all that and more when you visit Stone Mountain Park.  With 3200 acres of adventure and entertainment, you can please the whole family.

Ride the Summit Skyride.  A Swiss cable car that takes you up 825 feet in the beautiful Applachian Mountains for an amazing view of the Confederate Memorial Carving and the Atlanta skyline.  At Geyser Towers, three towers that surpass the treetops are accessible by suspended rope tunnels and bridges. To the delight of overheated children, several fountains of water shoot into the air over the exposed bridges, effectively soaking everyone who isn’t under a tower roof.

Stone Mountain ParkTake a ‘Tree-top hike’ as you adventure safely through the canopy at the Skyhike attraction.  The park offers shows like the Lasershow Spectacular with state-of-the-art digital graphics displayed on one of the world’s largest outdoor screens.

Get some nature time hiking the more than 15 miles of trails, fishing in the 363-acre lake, or a relaxing picnic in one of the park’s picnic areas.  You can even get in a round of golf on one of the two 18-hole courses.

Learn history the fun way at The Antebellum Plantation & Farmyard.  The plantation is a collection of original buildings that have been restored. Filled with period furniture and classic 18th and 19th century southern decorations, each building is an accurate portrayal of lifestyles past. The plantation also features a working cookhouse, traditional southern Stone Mountain Parkgarden, and a farmyard where kids can pet the animals and learn the role of livestock in the old south.

There is so much to do at Stone Mountain Park, its a perfect mix of excitement, education, and relaxation.

‘Hop-on Hop-off’ Savannah Trolley Tour

See all the best sights in Savannah at your own pace when you take the Savannah Historic Trolley Tour.

For an overview of sights and history in Savannah, you can ride through the 90 minute tour.  But we recommend you take advantage of the ‘Hopper Pass’ and spend as much time as you like at any of the 16 stops on the tour.  With either a one-day or two-day pass, you can hop off and on the trolley as you like, and see the Savannah historic sights your way.

Savannah Historic Trolley TourThe trolley ride itself is a treat of historic flavor, and a delightful way to travel to  the many fascinating and historical stops on the tour.  Its good to start at the Visitor’s Center, which is housed in an historic railway station.  Hop off and on as you visit places of architectural and historical significance, such as the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, dating to 1840, built in the Antebellum Greek Revival/Regency style, the Owen Thomas House completed in 1819 and now open as a museum showcasing the English Regency design and displaying antiquities from 1750 – 1830.  Learn the history of the Girl Scouts at the birthplace of Founder Julliette Gordon Lowe.Savannah Historic Trolley Tour

You’ll see parks and markets and the oldest theater in the US, the Historic Savannah Theater which is still producing nightly shows.  There is so much to see on this tour, you will probably need two days to see it.  The two-day Hopper Pass will give you plenty of time.

Historical Points of Interest in Williamsburg

If you’re interested in learning the history of this great country, there is no better place than traveling to one of the original thirteen colonies, and the city of Williamsburg, Virginia makes its name off of the rich historical activities and locations available in the area! Here are just a few lesser-known historical points of interest in the area:

The Capitol Building

The Williamsburg Capitol is easily recognized as you draw nearer to the building. Its weathered exterior shows its age and history, as it has not been used as a capitol since 1779 when the capitol was moved to Richmond. It was used for several purposes after that, including an admiralty court, law school, military hospital, grammar school, and female academy, and throughout the years, it has been reconstructed and refurnished into what it is today. Now, it is a popular tourist site for visitors of all ages to learn of the Capitol’s role in Virginian colonial government and in the American Revolution.

Raleigh Tavern

Established in 1717, the Raleigh Tavern served as a meeting, dining, gaming, and dancing facility for colonial Virginians, and even young Thomas Jefferson frequented the tavern during his years a student at William and Mary. Even General Washington was a frequent diner at the tavern, as well as several other famous people throughout history. In 1859, the original structure was destroyed in a fire, and restoration began in 1926. Now, the reconstruction and furnishings are historically accurate.

Governor’s Palace

Completed in 1722, the Virginia Governor’s Palace instantly become one of the most elegant and impressive buildings in colonial America. Clearly a statement of power, the palace has impressive gates, grounds, and chambers inside. After undergoing various renovations over the years, the role changed in 1780 after the government moved to Richmond. The palace served as a hospital for soldiers in the Battle of Yorktown, and more than 150 are buried in the palace garden. Later that year in 1781, the building was destroyed by fire, and it was reconstructed in the mid-1900s as an exhibition site that includes artifacts and décor. Past governors who lived there include Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Robert Dinwiddie, Hugh Drysdale, Alexander Spotswood, and others.