A View From High Above Bismarck! – North Dakota State Capitol Observation Deck – North Dakota State Capitol Building – Bismarck, North Dakota – 07/08/2022

Up to the North Dakota State Capitol Observation Deck, and back down again! A view of the Capitol Grounds as well as the city of Bismarck from the 18th floor! North Dakota State Capitol Building in Bismarck, North Dakota

Capitol Grounds and Exterior Architecture – North Dakota State Capitol Building – Bismarck, North Dakota – 07/08/2022

Capitol Grounds and Exterior Architecture of the North Dakota State Capitol Building in Bismarck, North Dakota

Birds’ Eye View of Madison From High Atop the Roof of the Wisconsin State Capitol Building – Madison, Wisconsin – 07/06/2022

Learn About Wisconsin! A Birds’ Eye View of Madison From High Atop the Roof of the Wisconsin State Capitol Building! Click HERE or on Any Photo in the Album Below for Great Book Ideas to Teach Kids About Wisconsin!

Eagle & Phenix Mills – Columbus, Georgia – 05/05/2021

Prior to the Civil War, the Eagle Mill was the second largest textile mill in the state of Georgia. At the end of the war, even after the Peace Treaty was signed, continuing skirmishes in the Columbus, Georgia area resulted in the mill buildings being destroyed. Rebuilt in the late 1860’s, with other buildings following in the 1870’s and 1880’s, the Eagle & Phenix Mills eventually became THE largest mill complex in the state of Georgia. The Phenix name was added in 1869, as a reference to the company rising from the ashes. Today, the Eagle & Phenix Mills are…

Eagle & Phenix Mills Water Tower – Columbus, Georgia – 05/05/2021

One prominent feature of the Columbus, Georgia skyline is the Eagle & Phenix Mills Water Tower. It can be seen from countless vantage points throughout the city, and lends well to the historic, industrial vibe of the entire downtown area of Columbus. And it makes for some great photo fun! If you’d like to see a list of all the Family Friendly Things to Do in Columbus, Georgia, CLICK HERE Columbus is a FABULOUS destination, and we love it! If you are interested in reading up on the history of Columbus, Georgia, Click on any photo below!

Historic Mills Along the Chattahoochee Riverwalk – Columbus, Georgia – 05/05/2021

Historic mills, industrial ruins, repurposed apartments, nature, and art all intertwine to deliver an incredible taste of historic-meets-modern living along the Chattahoochee Riverwalk! This 15 mile long river front park winds along the scenic Columbus, Georgia waterfront. And if these walls could talk, the stories they would tell! In addition to the Chattahoochee Riverwalk, be sure to take a stroll across the 14th Street Historic Bridge into Phenix City, Alabama. Make the kids walk all the way from Georgia to Alabama! If you’d like to see a list of all the Family Friendly Things to Do in Columbus, Georgia, CLICK HERE Columbus is a FABULOUS destination,…

Chattahoochee Riverwalk / Historic 14th Street Bridge / Phenix City Riverwalk – Columbus, Georgia / Phenix City, Alabama – 05/05/2021

The Chattahoochee Riverwalk is a 15 mile long river front park that traverses the scenic and historic Columbus, Georgia waterfront. On the Alabama side of the river, you will find the Phenix City Riverwalk, which offers an equally scenic 1.2 mile trail hugging the western shore of the Chattahoochee. Connecting the two, is a recently restored section of the Historic 14th Street Bridge. Originally designed and constructed in the early 1830’s by Horace King, a well-known American architect and former slave, the bridge was destroyed by floods in the late 1830’s. It was rebuilt by King, and then destroyed again…

Historic Hotels: Columbus Marriott – Columbus, Georgia – 05/04/2021

One of our “new” favorite things to do is check out Historic Hotels. For my birthday, we spent an evening in the River Street Inn in Savannah, Georgia, and ever since then, I’ve been hooked! The Columbus Marriott in Columbus, Georgia is also a gorgeous old-mill-turned-modern-hotel. A stunning lobby with epic fixtures gives way to a brick-laden hallway, leading you to well-appointed comfortable rooms. Historic details surround you, from door handles, to hardware, to old signs, windows, and more! If you’d like to check out the Columbus Marriott, CLICK HERE! If you’d like to see a list of all the…

Hiking the Ivy Creek Greenway from The Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center to the Woodward Mill Historic Site and Beyond – Buford, Georgia – 03/14/2021

Gwinnett County boasts an extensive park system with lots of hiking and trails. In the Buford area, The Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center has several hiking options of its own, including the Ivy Creek Greenway. From the parking lot of The Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center, the Ivy Creek Greenway takes you out to the Woodward Mill Historic Site. All in all, this isn’t the most natural setting. You do border some residential and commercial properties, and come out under the vicinity of Interstate 85. But, if you are into a bit of urban exploring, it’s still a good hike….

City Seekers: Exploring Sugar Hill, Georgia

Sugar Hill, Georgia, just north of Buford, on the way to Cumming, is a unique little town with a GREAT master plan taking shape. The town center has developed rapidly into a fun collection of quintessential multi-use developments. Up-to-date residential complexes add a distinguished sense of style. Yet, touches of history remain with The Eagle Theatre, better known now in its modern incarnation as The Eagle @ Sugar Hill. You can also find nods to Sugar Hill’s role in the Gold Rush Days of Georgia, with the Gold Panner Statue and Fountain, as well as a beautiful spanse of colorful…

Random Bits of Downtown Knoxville – Knoxville, Tennessee – 10/29/2020

Sometimes you just take pictures of stuff! And Knoxville does have some pretty cool stuff! Click on any photo to learn more about that business, or more about Knoxville in general! Click Here to See Hundreds of the Coolest Things to See, Do, Eat, and Drink in Knoxville, Tennessee! With or Without the Kids!

Walking Through New Orleans – New Orleans, Louisiana – 12/17/2019

From contemporary urban amenities, through the historic districts, and into quaint neighborhoods, New Orleans is an easily walkable city, loaded with fun, and TONS OF FLAVOR! A little bit of Mardi Gras, no matter the time of year, can be found throughout these jovial streets and funky alleyways! Unique architecture, with hundreds of years of stories to tell! Music filling your ears… Art delighting your eyes! And, ’tis even the season, to throw a bit of Christmas spirit into the mix! Statues, monuments, and memorials, an homage to those that came before us… Street cars and riverboats… Moving people through…

A Little Fog Rolling in to Downtown LA – Los Angeles, California – 12/07/2019

Enjoying a lovely night in L.A. as the fog rolls in and gives it a surreal sort of feeling! Palm trees, blowing in the Pacific Breezes, as they frame tall buildings against the opaque skies… The mystery and intrigue is so heavy in the air, it envelops you! Los Angeles is that kind of place!

A Late Night in Rhyolite Historic Site: A Nevada Ghost Town – Rhyolite, Nevada – 12/06/2019

A friend of mine told us about the Death Valley Ghost Town of Rhyolite. The Rhyolite Historic Townsite was a gold rush era boomtown that came to life in 1904. Gone almost as quickly as it arrived, the town was completely abandoned by 1916. We did intend to arrive during the day to explore the historic townsite a little more intimately. But, experiencing a Ghost Town in the dark definitely made for a unique end to our time in Nevada. We even saw some Wild Burros amongst the ruins. Rhyolite is 35 miles from the Death Valley National Park Furnace…

KiMo Theatre – Albuquerque, New Mexico – 12/02/2019

The KiMo Theatre is a gorgeous, historic landmark in Albuquerque, New Mexico! Situated along Route 66, Central Avenue at Fifth Street, it was constructed in 1927 in the stunning Art Deco-Pueblo Revival Style architecture. Blending adobe building style, decorative motifs from indigenous cultures, and the unique design elements notably found in American Art Deco architecture, this theatre is a sight to behold on the outside! And I imagine it is lovely on the inside as well! Click any of the photos for recommended books to learn more about the KiMo Theatre in Albuquerque, NM!

Miss Laura's Social Club – Fort Smith Visitors Center – Fort Smith, Arkansas – 12/01/2019

Well, now, it’s not every day you see a “House of Ill Repute” show up on a Family Travel Website! Or on the National Register of Historic Places, for that matter! Miss Laura’s Social Club is the only former bordello in Arkansas listed on the NRHP! And what a history this place has! Currently serving as the Visitors Center for the city of Fort Smith, you can stop by Miss Laura’s for all sorts of brochures and area suggestions and recommendations. And, if you are intrigued with Miss Laura’s unique past, you can even take a free guided tour! A…

Fort Smith National Historic Site – Fort Smith, Arkansas – 12/01/2019

Situated along the Arkansas River, the Fort Smith National Historic Site preserves an 80 year span of history in this Westernmost Arkansas settlement. As you explore the jail cells, courtroom, exhibits, artifacts, and outdoor trails, you can experience life as it was then on the edge of “Indian Territory” throughout the 1800’s. Engage with the touching stories of US Soldiers; Natives along the Trail of Tears; dangerous outlaws; and the brave, legendary lawmen who dedicated their lives to policing the Western Frontier. If your kids have ever expressed an interest in the “Wild Wild West” they will be intrigued with…

Midnight in Memphis – Random Sights and Signs on Beale Street – Memphis, Tennessee – 12/01/2019

We started Alysia’s 20th Birthday right! By Walking in Memphis! So much music history, walking these streets… From WC Handy, Father of the Blues, to Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll! And so many fun neon signs from all the restaurants, cafes, music venues, and watering holes… Happy Birthday, Alysia! We love you!

Random Birmingham – Birmingham, Alabama – 11/30/2019

Our first stop off the Interstate for a coffee break and a few Bucket List Checks… Here are a few random shots from Downtown Birmingham, Alabama. There wasn’t much going on downtown in the midst of this sleepy post-Holiday weekend, but there were some gorgeous old theatres, nostalgic neon signs, and unique architecture to be enjoyed as we made our way from Railroad Park to Kelly Ingram Park. New Ideal Department StoreAlabama TheatreLyric TheatreRailroad Park Click on any photo for books about Birmingham, Alabama! Or check out our SPGFAN QUIKLIST for fun, family-friendly attractions in Birmingham, Alabama!

The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village – Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada – 06/09/2018

As a self-proclaimed history buff, one of my absolute favorite activities is exploring a Living History Attraction. As a family, we always do our best to really get into the groove… Engaging with interpreters in period costume and dialect, studying the details of daily routines, admiring architectural nuances… We love perusing old tools, accessories, crafts, handiworks, and products, pretending they are our own, and imagining life as if we were truly present in another time and place! The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village in Alberta, about 45 minutes east of Edmonton, is a fabulous place to do all of that and…

A Little Northwoods Flavor in the Town of Nisswa – Nisswa, Minnesota – 06/02/2018

Downtown Nisswa, Minnesota One of my favorite elements of roadtripping is the unexpected discovery of small towns with HUGE character. And Nisswa, with its Northwoods, Paul Bunyan, Native American flavor delivers character in a VERY big way! All the chocolate, candy, and ice cream one’s heart could desire… Native gifts, toys, boutiques, and a range of souvenirs for everyone… A variety of restaurants… And, of course, COFFEE! So, the skies may be a little dreary today, but Nisswa, Minnesota is a quaint Northwoods town with THE warmest welcome! Check Out Our SPGFAN Nisswa, Minnesota QUIKLIST! For ALL the Things to…

Mill Musings and River Ramblings – Wandering Along the Mississippi River Through the Historic Mill District of Minneapolis – Minneapolis, Minnesota – 05/25/2018

The Historic Mill District of Minneapolis Many locations within the boundaries of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, a National Park Unit, offer fascinating highlights of the historic Minneapolis milling industry. Spend some time traversing both the East and West Banks of the Mississippi River to explore panoramic vistas of old mills, industrial ruins, historic bridges, natural falls, navigational structures, and protected National Landmarks, as they all give way to the modern amenities of today’s bustling Mill City. Area attractions showcasing some of the fascination history of this side of Twin Cities: Mill Ruins Park, Mill City Museum, Stone Arch Bridge, Father…

Upper St. Anthony Falls Visitor Center and Lock and Dam – Minneapolis, Minnesota – 05/25/2018

St. Anthony Falls Visitor Center and Lock and Dam St. Anthony Falls Visitor Center and Lock and Dam offers fabulous panoramic views of the St. Anthony Falls amongst the historic Minneapolis Mill District. Unfortunately, the falls were not accessible the day we were here, but definitely check this location out if you are in the Minneapolis area! This is a great place to learn about the Mississippi River’s navigational history, as well as the logging and milling industries from Northern Minnesota, down through Minneapolis. This location is within the boundaries of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, so be…

That Minneapolis Vibe – Random Shots of Downtown – Minneapolis, Minnesota – 05/24/2018

Some of my favorite albums after the fact are just the random architecture shots from around the cities we explore! A glimpse into daily life. The juxtaposition between old and new, modern and historic. Industry, technology, infrastructure. It’s fascinating! And Minneapolis is definitely a beautiful city full of charming history and fun modern day vibes! Check Out Our SPGFAN Minneapolis, Minnesota QUIKLIST! For ALL the Things to Do in Minnesota, CLICK HERE! See Everything Our Family Has Done in Minnesota! Click HERE or on Any Photo Belowto Check Out Other Travel Books and Tools for Minneapolis!

The Sights and Sounds of Downtown Saint Paul – Saint Paul, Minnesota – 05/23/2018

After a day exploring the Minnesota State Capitol Building and Grounds, and the Cathedral of Saint Paul, we spent some time meandering through Downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota. Lots of unique architecture, historic and modern; fun street art pieces; monuments and memorials; and so much more… Saint Paul is a beautiful city, and Minnesota is a GREAT family-friendly destination to consider! Click on any photo for resources to plan YOUR family’s trip to Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota!

Interior of the Minnesota State Capitol Building – Saint Paul, Minnesota – 05/23/2018

From the Grand Rotunda, to the architectural elegance of the House and Senate Chambers, to the exquisite hand-painted details, the Minnesota State Capitol Building is stunning on the inside. To read more about the Minnesota State Capitol Building, click on any photo or link to check out THIS BEAUTIFUL BOOK. To see the Exterior of the Minnesota State Capitol Building, check out THIS POST. And, hey, we even got to explore the BASEMENT of the Minnesota State Capitol Building! We’re doing our best to visit ALL the State Capitols and Provincial and Territorial Legislative Buildings throughout the US and Canada….

Exterior of the Minnesota State Capitol Building – Saint Paul, Minnesota – 05/23/2018

Another Bucket List Check on our State Capitols Tour! Check out more of our adventures at Capitol Letters! The Minnesota State Capitol Building is an absolutely beautiful piece of architecture, loaded with gorgeous details. The grounds hold statues and plaques paying homage to the State’s Historically Significant Contributors. To read more, check out this book! To see the interior, CLICK HERE! How about the Basement?

Touring the Wisconsin State Capitol Building – Madison, Wisconsin – 05/17/2018

Another State Capitol Building Bucket List Check! The Wisconsin State Capitol Building is located in Madison, Wisconsin. Accessible grounds, a stunning rotunda, informational museum exhibits, and a fun roof top area make this historic capitol building a great destination for learning all about the State of Wisconsin! Time it right, and you may even experience the Wisconsin Legislature in session! Watch State Government in action!

A Sunset Walk Around The Soo – Sault Ste, Marie, Michigan – 05/14/0018

After we said goodbye to our friend, we spent a little while longer walking through Downtown Sault Ste. Marie to take in the unique mix of historic architecture, local business, community preservation, and even some of the more modern creative street art.

Welcome to the Soo! – Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan – 05/14/2018

We are on our way to visit a dear friend in the Soo! Welcome to Sault Ste. Marie on the US / Canadian border in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan!

Lower Dauphin Street Historic District – Downtown Mobile, Alabama – 09/25/2017

Where historic buildings of ornately styled architecture give way to high-rise hotels, the Lower Dauphin Street Historic District of Mobile, Alabama is a destination that has it all! A 19th century melting pot of cultures and styles blend together for food, music, and revelry of the best kind! French, Spanish, British, Creole, Catholic, Greek and African cultures have all played their parts in the shaping of everything from architecture, cuisine, and business; to celebrations, traditions, local lore and more! Honor Mobile’s incredible history, by enjoying the modern Mobile of today!

A Few Random Shots on Our Dauphin Island Adventures – Dauphin Island, Alabama – 09/25/2017

Dauphin Island has been on my bucket list for a while! Today, we took the Mobile Bay Auto Ferry ride out of Fort Morgan and over to Dauphin Island. Once there, we visited The Estuarium at Dauphin Island Sea Lab. And then took a look around Fort Gaines. And then, just explored the island itself! This collection contains a few random shots from our adventures! Be sure to check out All Our Dauphin Island Adventures!

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park – Atlanta, Georgia – 06/04/2016

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park consists of several buildings in Atlanta, Georgia that interpret the deeply moving history of this pivotal Civil Rights leader. You will find Martin Luther King Jr.’s boyhood home; as well as the original Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King was baptized. He and his father, Martin Luther King Sr., both served as pastors at Ebenezer. Also in the 35 acre Sweet Auburn complex are: Fire Station No. 6 The National Park Visitor Center The Behold Monument The “I Have a Dream” International World Peace Rose Garden  The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change And a…

Historic Huntsville Depot – Huntsville, Alabama – 04/20/2016

Most kids LOVE trains! Mine always have! The Historic Huntsville Depot has an extensive collection of both indoor and outdoor exhibits through all eras of railroad history in and around the Alabama region. The Huntsville Depot was a passenger station until the late 1960’s. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this preserved historic facility offers great fun for all ages. Even the youngest kids will enjoy playing in the Little Toots play area! Historic Huntsville Depot is a unit within the Early Works Family of Museums, which also includes Alabama Constitution Hall Park and Museum, and The…

Guided Workshop Tour and Old-Fashioned Toy Experience – Alabama Constitution Hall Park and Museum – Huntsville, Alabama – 04/20/2016

When visiting Alabama Constitution Hall Park and Museum, be sure to check out their schedule of guided tours and interactive experiences. We were fortunate enough to have a lovely tour guide share such an intimate hands-on Workshop Tour and Old-Fashioned Toy Experience with us today! We got to see how things were made, and had plenty of time to enjoy the toys ourselves! So much fun! Alabama Constitution Hall Park and Museum is a unit within the Early Works Family of Museums, which also includes Early Works Children’s Museum, and the Historic Huntsville Depot. All the units together can make…

Alabama Constitution Hall Park and Museum – Huntsville, Alabama – 04/20/2016

Alabama Constitution Hall Park and Museum is a unit within the Early Works Family of Museums, which also includes Early Works Children’s Museum, and the Historic Huntsville Depot. All the units together can make a busy day of fun, or even a full and fabulous educational weekend getaway. One membership gets you admission to all 3 locations! I find this group of museums to be fairly unique in scope to have such a focus on history that is very specifically geared towards younger children. Sometimes history can feel dry, or boring, but not within the Early Works Family of Museums!…

Historic Downtown Richmond – Richmond, Kentucky – 04/09/2016

Historic Richmond, Kentucky has stories to tell from every era of American history! From the earliest Native History, to Daniel Boone and fellow explorers entering the area in the 1770’s, to the Revolutionary War, to The Battle of Richmond in the Civil War, all the way to modern times… Homes, buildings, businesses, and more, have been preserved in their states of grandeur! Consider a stop in Richmond next time you are passing through the area!

Lora Blevins Farmstead – Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area – Oneida, Tennessee – 04/04/2016

A lovely day on the Lora Blevins Farmstead in the Bandy Creek region of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. Click on any photo below to learn more about planning a trip to the Big South Fork Region! Located in Upper Middle Tennessee, the Big South Fork NRRA, a unit of the National Park Service, is one of the most beautiful mountain regions in all of the United States! Some of the most breath-taking scenery along hiking trails can be found here. Prettier than the Great Smoky Mountains, in my humble opinion, with none of the traffic!

Autumn in Cades Cove – Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Townsend, Tennessee – 10/26/2012

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has an intriguing human history that has left its mark on the beautiful land. In addition to being preserved as a part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the area of Cades Cove is also designated as a United Nations World Heritage Site, and an International Biosphere Reserve. There is no better place to immerse yourself into this significantly historic scenery than by driving the 11 mile one-way auto loop through Cades Cove, on the western side of the park, just outside of Townsend, Tennessee. Here, amongst the stunning natural features of the…

Union Station – Kansas City, Missouri – 06/28/2012

Day One: A Little Exploration – Dry Tortugas National Park – Dry Tortugas, Florida – 09/11/2011

We didn’t really get settled into camp until after the ferry boat left the island for the evening with all of the Day Visitors. So, we spent the first part of our own day doing a little random exploring. Playing in the sand, checking out some marinelife, meandering about the island… More albums, to come, though! Keep clicking through! Jellyfish, seaplanes, crabs, lizards, sand, boats, forts… All the makings of paradise! Well, except, maybe, the jellyfish. Eeek! The American Flag at half-mast in honor of the 10th Anniversary of September 11. Our thoughts are with America. Then, now, ALWAYS. We…

Independence Hall – Independence National Historical Park – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – 10/11/2010

On this particular visit to Philadelphia, Independence Hall was under renovation! Oops! Better luck next time! But, on the bright side, hopefully this historical icon will be around for many, many generations to come! I suppose we don’t mind waiting!

LeRoy Historical Society’s Historic LeRoy House – LeRoy, New York – 04/11/2010

Historic LeRoy House in LeRoy, New York About an hour south of the Niagara Falls Region of New York, you’ll find the quaint little town of LeRoy, New York. As unassuming as it might sound, LeRoy is the home of Jell-O! If you have time to swing through, you can visit the Historic LeRoy House, as well as the Jell-O Museum and Gallery! We actually had a tremendous amount of fun exploring both places. The main levels of the home offer a glimpse into the cultural history of the time and area; and the basement beckons to the younger crowd…

Random Shots in Downtown Cincinnati – Cincinnati, Ohio – 02/23/2010

It was a cold and blustery day in Downtown Cincinnati, but we still enjoyed our trip to the Cincinnati Museum Center, spending time in both the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History & Science, as well as the Duke Energy Children’s Museum. When we were done there, we drove through Downtown to check out some of the historic buildings and architectural detail, and then we stopped to play in the snow and grab a bite to eat before hitting the road back home! Buildings, bridges, churches, businesses… Even the Duke Energy Center and Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Bengals…

Downtown Nashville, Lower Broadway, and Honky Tonk Highway – Nashville, Tennessee – 01/22/2010

The sights and sounds of the heartbeat of Nashville, Tennessee and the Country Music Industry! Nestled amongst the skyscrapers of modern Nashville, Lower Broadway is the home of historic Honky Tonk Row, and live music permeates the air all throughout the day and night! Country Music, Cowboy Boots, and Carriage Rides! Sounds like Music City to me! Click on any link for a list of ALL the Family Friendly Attractions in Nashville, TN! Click on any photo for some cute ideas for Country Music for Kids!