Saturday, June 20, 2015

Port Aransas Ferry in Port Aransas, Texas

Description:  Texas Highway 361 uses an unusual feature to connect Port Aransas to the mainland.  Ferry boats that can hold up to 20 vehicles work to carry passengers across the Corpus Christ Channel.  The short ride across the channel is provided for free.  It's a fun way to enjoy a ride on the water without paying any money.

Location: 619 W Cotter Avenue on the Port Aransas side.

Cost: Free - though there could be a wait time.

Operating Seasons and Hours:  Ferry boats operate 24 hours a day every day of the year.  The only exception is when the weather makes the water too dangerous.

Official Website: http://www.txdot.gov/driver/travel/ferry-schedules.html

Date of Visit: Monday, November 3, 2014

This was the fourth stop on the third day of the Texas Coastline Road Trip that my husband and I took our kids on in November of 2014. We left Mustang Island State Park and drove north for just a few miles to the town of Port Aransas.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Providence Canyon State Park Georgia: Re-visit


Description: Red sand is everywhere throughout the south, but rarely do you get the chance to see sand as interesting as it appears in Providence Canyon State Park in Georgia.  Here the sand has been eroded into beautiful canyons and cliffs.  Water flows through the canyons allowing trees and other vegetation to grow. Perhaps the most interesting part of the park is the fact that the canyons were created less than 200 years ago through erosion from poor farming techniques.  

Location: 8930 Canyon Road Lumpkin, Georgia.  Lumpkin is about 40 miles south of Columbus, Georgia and 100 miles east of Montgomery, Alabama

Cost: $5.00 per car

Operating Seasons and Hours: The park is open daily, generally from dawn to dusk. The Visitor Center is only open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during the months of September, October, November, March, April, May, June, and the first week of July. Visitor Center hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Official Website: http://gastateparks.org/ProvidenceCanyon

Date of Visit: Saturday, June 13, 2015

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

How to order Maps and Travel Guides for FREE!


Sometimes people wonder how I know about so many places to visit.  Some places I've learned about through word of mouth or through Pinterest, but I usually learn about destinations from reading about them in the guidebooks published by each state's tourism department.

Tourism is a huge industry that every state depends on for income.  Each state provides a free travel guide so you can see what interesting things they have to offer.  I love ordering a guidebook for a state that I plan to visit. When it arrives I take an hour or so and skim through the book.  I highlight things that stand out to me, and write them down in my trusty little notebook.  Later I'll look those places up online to find out their cost and other details.

It's really easy to find the guidebook for each state online.  All you have to do is search for "Free Travel Guide [State's Name]."  But because I'm nice, I've gone ahead and assembled a list of all the states with links to their tourism websites.

If you click on the link next to each state's name you will be taken to their tourism website where you can order a free brochure.  Each website is slightly different, but you usually need to select the brochures that you want. Then you enter in your name and address and some other basic info and click submit.  Some states ask if you want to receive e-mails, but you don't have to sign up for that. Most states also allow you to download the brochure immediately.  That's a nice feature because sometimes it can take weeks to receive your guidebook.

Many states even send you a free highway map.  I know you are thinking "I'll just use my GPS."  But trust me, a paper map can be very valuable.

If you don't have time to wait for a guidebook and map to arrive, you can pick them up while you travel.  Most states have Tourist Information Centers at rest stops or in large cities.  These places will provide you with guidebooks and maps for free.  The people who work in these offices are usually very knowledgeable about the area and can tell you about great places to visit.

This is a list of  all 50 states in alphabetical order:  I hope this will help you find a great place for your next adventure. 

Alabama - http://alabama.travel/vacation_guide_orders

Alaska - https://www.travelalaska.com/Planners/Planner.aspx

Arizona - http://www.visitarizona.com/request-a-visitors-guide

Arkansas - http://www.arkansas.com/travel-tools/vacation-kit/

California - http://www.visitcalifornia.com/visitors-guide-request

Colorado - http://www.colorado.com/guide-order

Connecticut - http://www.ctvisit.com/getawayguide

Delaware - http://www.visitdelaware.com/map-and-travel-tools/travel-guide/

District of Columbia - http://washington.org/visitor-request-form

Florida - http://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/travel-guides.html

Georgia - http://www.exploregeorgia.org/brochures

Hawaii - http://www.gohawaii.com/en/visitor-guide/

Idaho - http://www.visitidaho.org/free-publications/

Illinois - https://www.enjoyillinois.com/en-us/travelguides

Indiana - https://visitindiana.com/brochures

Iowa - http://www.traveliowa.com/travelGuide

Kansas - http://www.travelks.com/travel-tools/travel-guide/

Kentucky - http://www.kentuckytourism.com/travel_tools/visitors_guide.aspx

Louisiana - http://www.louisianatravel.com/guide-order

Maine - http://visitmaine.com/

Maryland - http://www.visitmaryland.org/brochure

Massachusetts - http://www.massvacation.com/navigate/travel-guide/

Michigan - http://www.michigan.org/travel-guide/

Minnesota - http://www.exploreminnesota.com/publications-order-form.aspx

Mississippi - http://visitmississippi.org/sitepages/tour-guide

Missouri - http://www.visitmo.com/official-missouri-printed-travel-guide-order-form.aspx

Montana - http://visitmt.com/guidebookorder.html

Nebraska - http://visitnebraska.com/request-travel-guide

Nevada - http://travelnevada.com/subscribe/visitors-guide

New Hampshire - http://www.visitnh.gov/information/order-your-free-visitors-guide.aspx

New Jersey - http://www.visitnj.org/form/request-or-download-free-travel-guides

New Mexico - http://www.newmexico.org/request-guide/

New York - http://www.iloveny.com/travel-tools/guides/

North Carolina - http://www.visitnc.com/free-travel-publications

North Dakota - http://www.ndtourism.com/maps-guides

Ohio - http://consumer.discoverohio.com/

Oklahoma - http://www.travelok.com/brochures

Oregon - http://traveloregon.com/getting-around/printed-guides/

Pennsylvania - http://www.visitpa.com/request-pennsylvania-guide

Rhode Island - http://www.visitrhodeisland.com/free-travel-guide/

South Carolina - http://discoversouthcarolina.com/vacation-guides

South Dakota - https://www.travelsouthdakota.com/request-free-vacation-guide

Tennessee - http://www.tnvacation.com/guide/

Texas - http://www.traveltex.com/travel-guide/

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park

Description:  Remote doesn't even begin to describe The Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park.  The area is located miles away from any cities and is accessible by only one road.  Most of the area is located on top of a large mesa that rises over 1000 feet from the ground below. You can see for almost 100 miles in every direction - and yet there are few signs of civilization.  The scenery is full of sandstone that has been eroded into interesting features by wind and water. Surprisingly, this is actually the most accessible area within the park.  It offers short trails to several interesting features.

Location: Canyonlands National Park is located in Southeastern Utah.  The park is divided into three districts.  The Island in the Sky District is the northern most district.  The Visitor Center is about 40 minutes from Moab, Utah and 25 minutes from Dead Horse Point State Park.

Cost: $10 per vehicle.  First come first serve campsites are available for $10.00.  There are also fees of up to $30 for back country permits.

Operating Seasons and Hours: The park is open all day every day.  Visitor Center hours usually are from 9:00 to 4:00, but it is open longer in the summer.  The Visitor Center is closed from late December through February.

Official Website: http://www.nps.gov/cany/planyourvisit/islandinthesky.htm

Date of Visit:  Wednesday, May 19, 2010.

This was the third stop of the sixth day of the Southern Utah Road Trip that my husband and I went on for our third anniversary in May of 2010. We left Dead Horse Point State Park, and drove about 11 miles to the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Landmark Park - Dothan, Alabama (Part One)


Description:  Landmark Park has a little bit of something for everyone.  There are historic buildings that show you what life in the Deep South used to be like.  There is a large wooded area with a boardwalk and other trails that help you get up close to nature.  The Interpretive Center houses displays about the wildlife as well as a planetarium.  The park is also home to the Alabama Museum of Agriculture.  As if all that wasn't enough there is also a awesome playground.

Location:  430 Landmark Drive in Dothan, Alabama. Dothan is in the southeastern part of Alabama about 30 miles west of the Georgia border, and 15 miles north of the Florida border.

Cost:  Admission to the park is $4 for anyone 13 years old or older.  $3 for anyone ages 3-12.  Free for children age 2 and younger. Admission to the planetarium inside the park is $2 per person, and free for anyone under age 3.

Operating Seasons and Hours:  Monday through Saturday from 9:00 to 5:00.  On Sunday the hours are noon to 5:00.  The planetarium is only open on Saturdays and Sundays.

Official Website: https://www.landmarkparkdothan.com/

Date of Visit: Saturday, May 30, 2015

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