Tag Archives: museums

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.

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 Pioneer Auto Show and Antique Town

Near Mount Rushmore, in Murdo, South Dakota is a must see museum.  The Pioneer Auto Show and Antique Town boasts some 42 buildings full of collectibles, antiques, rare and unique automobiles, tractors and motorcycles.

Plan to spend at least a full day, if not two to fully appreciate all this place has to see.  The automobile collection features more than 250 vehicles from the 1900s through the 1970s.  You can see a rare 1906 Ford Model N; a 1970 GTO Judge convertible, one of only 165 produced, and hundreds of other vintage autos.  The motorcycle exhibits includes among its 60 bikes, a 1976 Harley Davidson that belonged to Elvis Presley, with only 1200 miles on the odometer and still titled to the ‘King.”  You’ll find more than 60 tractors on display including some manufactured by Lamborghini and Porsche.  Who knew?

If cars and tractors aren’t your thing, there are still plenty of interesting and nostalgic exhibits including pin ball machines, fountain pens, oil cans, door knobs, books, toys and music boxes, to name but a few.

The museum also boasts an extensive collection of rocks, gems and minerals.  The National Rockhound Hall of Fame & Lapidary is housed here.  The Zeitner collection contains hundred of rarities you won’t see anywhere else.

The youngest visitors, who may not be as intrigued by nostalgic exhibits, will be entertained by taking part in the Kids Treasure Hunt.  With treasure map in hand, they work their way through the exhibits following clues to find stickers to complete the map.  Upon finding all the stickers, they receive a prize.

Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul

According to the Smithsonian Institution, “In the quest to identify the roots of America’s music, all roads led to Memphis.”  And that revelation led to the collaboration by the National Museum of American History, and the Smithsonian to develop the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum.

More than just an exhibit of costumes and guitars, the museum chronicles the story of social change, of breaking barriers of segregation and racial and social prejudice that once permeated our society.  It tells the story of how music changed, but more importantly the story of how the music changed our world.

The museum provides a comprehensive view of Memphis music beginning with the rural field holler and porch music in the 1930s, through the impact of the civil rights movement, and the influence that continues today.  Exhibits tell of musical pioneers and legends from all racial and economic backgrounds who shared a love of music and overcame obstacles to bring their music to the world.

The Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum is located at the corner of Historic Beale Street and “The Blues Highway,” Highway 61.


Go Los Angeles Card

Its time to plan your labor day getaway.  Take a vacation to Los Angeles and enjoy the best area attractions of your choosing for a three, five or seven day LA extravaganza.

The Go Los Angeles Card gives you admission to 40 area attractions.  See what you want, when you want with one convenient pass.  Admission is included to Tours like the Hollywood Trolley Tour and Los Angeles City Tour, whale watching excursions, and ten other fantastic tours.

Go Los Angeles Card - Six FlagsAll the must see attractions are included, just show your Go Card for admission to Universal Studios, Knott’s Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Legoland and fourteen other area favorites.

Plus your admission is covered to fifteen different museums, including California Heritage Museum, Petersen Automotive Museum, Zimmer Children’s Museum and California Science Center.

You’ll also enjoy dining and shopping discounts with this incredible Go Card.

Explore New York City

Experience New York City your way, spending as much or as little time as you choose at an impressive list of popular attractions with the New York City Explorer Pass.  You have 30 days in which to use your pass, and in addition to the great tours and museum admissions, you’ll also enjoy discounts to area restaurants and attractions.  Customize the explorer pass to suit your taste, as you select three, five, seven or ten of the attractions and sightseeing tours.

Choose from; six great attractions including Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex, New York Botanical Gardens;  Seven museums including Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ground Zero Museum Workshop; and More than 20 different sightseeing tours including NBC Studio Tour, Rockefeller Center Tour, and Classic Discovery Walking Tour with Deli Lunch.

You’ll find all the best are included, so make your list, and get ready to explore New York City just the way you want.

Walk the Walk – San Antonio’s Riverwalk

Deep in the heart of San Antonio lies an urban oasis of lush backdrops, paved pathways, arched bridges made of stone, picturesque waterfalls and the welcome cool shade of cypress trees lining the smooth flowing water of the San Antonio River.  The San Antonio Riverwalk is a meticulously landscaped 2-1/2 miles along the river from The Alamo through the downtown district of all the best dining, shopping, museums and architecture.

A level below the automobile street and a world away, the Riverwalk is a scene to absorb and from it you can access The Rivercenter Mall, The San Antonio Museum of Art, The Pearl Brewery, and dozens of boutiques, eateries, bars, and attractions.

So many dining options you’ll have a hard time deciding.  You can find Old World, Italian, BBQ, French fine dining, and of course, Tex/Mex.  This is the place to find the very best fajitas, enchiladas, and chile rellenos North, South, East, aaand West of the Pecos!  The Iron Cactus Agave Bar Room features more than 100 kinds of tequila.Riverwalk Cruise

The Rivercenter Mall is home to more than 100 retail shops,  restaurants, movie theaters and the Marriott Hotel.  With your favorite stores from Macy’s and Hot Topic and specialty shops like Life in Alamo City and The Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop you will find this an ideal location for a shopping bonanza.

You can walk along the River enjoying the scenery and stopping at your leisure at the fine shops, restaurants and museums.  You also have the option of biking, or renting a segway for your trek up and down the beautiful riverbanks.  For a very relaxing treat, reminiscent of an Old West Venice, you can cruise along the waterway in a boat.  You’ll float along past the Alamo, The San Fernando Cathedral, and La Villita, San Antonio’s first neighborhood.  Your guide on the river cruise will share area history and point out all the highlights along the way.

OmniThere are plenty of hotels right along the Riverwalk too, so you can stay where you play and have quick and easy access to all the galleries, dining and night-life the Riverwalk has to offer, plus enjoy the view from your room.  The Omni La Mansion del Rio is a Spanish style Hotel that really captures the areas culture, plus they have an indoor pool with dive-in movies, a spa and fitness center and they are famous for the Sunday Champagne Brunch.  Overlooking the Riverwalk and only three blocks from the Alamo its an ideal location for experiencing all the best of the San Antonio Riverwalk.


There’s Always Some Mardi Gras in New Orleans

While New Orleans is famous for a number of reasons, it has become synonymous with ‘Mardi Gras.’  While this celebration only lasts a short while, there is a bit of Mardi Gras to be found every day in the Big Easy.

Apart from the party atmosphere, great jazz, scrumptious food, and colorful street scenes, which persist year-round in the Crescent City, you can find several museums with all the Mardi Gras flavor you are craving.

The Backstreet Cultural Museum in Treme, houses memorabilia unique to Mardi Gras, jazz funerals and other entirely New Orleans traditions.  You’ll find the largest collection of Mardi Gras costumes some costing more than $10,000 to create.  Tons of photos and videos of the famous jazz funerals, and second lines are featured here.

New OrleansIn the Uptown Garden District you can visit Blaine Kerr’s Mari Gras World, a museum that is also a float-building factory.  Take a guided tour to learn the history of the grand festival from the early days of mule-drawn carriages, to the elaborate modern floats.  You can even sample traditional Mardi Gras king cake.

Moving into the French Quarter, The Presbytere is a museum brimming with Mardi Gras artifacts and memorabilia.  High-tech interactive exhibits take you on a journey through Mardi Gras history from the ancient origins, to the parades and balls of the 19th century, to the mega-party carnival of today.

No matter what time of year you visit, you can always taste the flavor of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.  Spend a few days sampling the food, music and vivid history of the Crescent City.  Its always a good time for a New Orleans vacation.


Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

If you haven’t seen the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum lately, you haven’t seen it.  The hallmark of Nashville’s musical heritage has more than doubled in size for 2014.

The building’s exterior is a treat of musical symbols, with windows that mimic piano keys, a replica of the WSM tower, surrounded by images of records and CDs and one corner of the building designed like a 1950’s Cadillac tailfin.  Viewed from above the building is a bass clef.

Apart from aesthetics, this wonderfully designed structure is home to artifacts from the hottest artists, interactive and contemporary exhibits, rare audio and video recordings, priceless instruments and history of the iconic Hatch Show Print.

Country Music Hall of Fame and MuseumThe museum features exhibits chronicling country music from its humble roots to an internationally recognized art form, with such artists as Patsy Cline, Bill Monroe, Elvis.  The exhibits continue through to present artists including Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Taylor Swift and more.

The building also houses the Hall of Fame Rotunda, the most esteemed honor bestowed to country music artists.

Special limited engagement exhibits for this year include artists Miranda Lambert, and Kenny Rogers, The Bakersfield Sound: Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and California Country, and Dylan, Cash and Nashville Cats: A New Music City.Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

With ever-changing permanent exhibits, special limited exhibits, shopping, dining, Studio B tours, country music fans should plan to visit the museum often, to see it all.

Vacations Made Easy has available a Country Music Fan Vacation Package which includes admission to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Homes of the Stars Tour, Grand Ole Opry tickets, and four nights lodging.

Family Fun in Williamsburg

If you’re taking a family trip to historical Williamsburg, be sure to stop at these awesome kid-friendly spots! While it may be getting a little too cold for Busch Gardens or Water Country, these fun activities will have your kids jumping for joy and learning too!

Uncover a variety of beautiful, strange, and bizarre things at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, where you and your kids can indulge in the interesting sights from our world’s history. More than 350 exhibits are on display in the museum, including a 500-pound gorilla made entirely of nails, an 8-foot tall Transformer, a 1,000-pound Millennium Falcon, and genuine shrunken heads. Find lots of interactive exhibits on display that test the boundaries of illusion for hands-on experience with the oddities of our world.

Or take your kids to the Virginia Living Museum, an interactive learning center to stimulate knowledge, heighten awareness, and maximize an appreciation for the living world. You and your kids can walk through a native wildlife park, science museum, aquarium, botanical preserve, and planetarium and enjoy hands-on experience great for students and kids of all ages. Expand your kids’ minds and take them to one or all four discovery centers featured on the property.