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Posted by Jody Victor's Crew on

Three Historic Cities in America You and Your Family Should Visit

While there are many styles of vacations you can take your family on, many still favor the tried and true family road trip to destinations important to the history and culture of our country.

Boston, Massachusetts

While many coastal cities, east and west, are significant to the birth and growth of America, Boston stands out as particularly significant to the early struggles of our great nation. Beacon Hill in Boston was home to the descendants of early English colonialists whose elegant, gas-lit streets are well worth wandering through. And of course no trip to Boston would be complete without a visit to the famous Boston Harbor which includes a fantastic interactive museum and two replica 18th century vessels. Boston is also home to America’s first college, Harvard, which was established in 1636, student lead walking tours are available.

New York City, New York

While the Big Apple has so much to offer one couldn’t possibly see it all in one trip, the historically minded will want to visit some particular locations: Ellis Island, landing spot of some 12 million immigrants is as fascinating as any place you might visit in the city and features a stunning museum; the Brooklyn Bridge is a must see landmark—it took 600 some workers 14 years to construct one of the world’s first steel wire suspension bridges which was the longest of its kind at completion in 1883; architectural buffs won’t want to miss Brooklyn Heights, one of the first areas of the city to be deemed a historic district.

San Antonio, Texas

While the Alamo is certainly a main point of interest, the entire city is a treasure trove of Spanish colonialism. The Alamo itself is one of only five missions that have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site (i.e., don’t miss!). The new River Walk Mission Reach Trail will allow you to explore the grounds and buildings in which priests and Native Americans worked and lived together.

Posted by Jody Victor's Crew on

Attention Travelers: Texas Gets an Upgrade

The U.N.’s cultural body approved the status of the San Antonio Missions as a world heritage site Sunday. This historic site, important to world history, now joins a list of more than 1,000 such sites around the world – including 22 others in the United States – putting Texas on an elite list governed by the United Nation’s cultural branch.

The site includes five mission complexes. They can be found along the San Antonio River basin. The missions, the most famous of which is the Alamo, were built by Franciscan missionaries in the 18th century.

According to the United Nation’s cultural body the San Antonio Missions “illustrate the Spanish Crown’s efforts to colonize, evangelize and defend the northern frontier of New Spain. The San Antonio Missions are also an example of the interweaving of Spanish and Coahuiltecan cultures, illustrated by a variety of features, including the decorative elements of churches, which combine Catholic symbols with indigenous designs inspired by nature.”

To be nominated for heritage status, sites must meet a set of criteria agreed upon by member states of the U.N. cultural body and must include a long-term management plan. Heritage status comes not only with world-wide notoriety, but also access for financial assistance towards preservation.

Add the San Antonio Missions to your travel bucket list!

Jody Victor

Posted by Jody Victor's Crew on

Five “Hidden Gem” State Parks

The United States National Park system contains some of the most beautiful landscapes and natural wonders in the world. Though traffic jams, crowds of noisy people and armies of bleeping cell phones and take away from from our outdoor experiences. While the best known parks are well worth visiting, perhaps you will find more serenity at one of these “hidden gem” state parks.

Henderson Beach State Park, Florida

Located in Destin, FL, Henderson Beach offers a variety of landscapes and activities. Camping, hiking, fishing and swimming are common activities. The Gulf Coast shoreline scenery includes pine forest, wildflowers and rolling coastal dunes.

Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Missouri

Ha Ha Tonka State Park offers a little over seventeen thousand acres to explore-formally traveled by Daniel Boone and son Nathan. The park runs along the arm of the Lake of the Ozarks and offers about fifteen miles of trails on which you’ll find caves, tunnels, natural bridges and sinkholes. A somewhat bizarre feature of the park are the stone ruins of a castle built in the early 20th century by a Kansas City businessman.

Tumalo State Park, Oregon

Tumalo State Park is located very near Bend, Oregon. But once inside the beautiful 330 acre park one would never know civilization is just around the bend! Wildlife viewing, fishing, camping and hiking are some of the parks most popular activities. The hiking trails that run out from the river lead to some beautiful canyons on the park property. One particularly popular activity is tubing in the parks river. The park offers winter activities as well-park visitors can ski and snowboarder on Mt. Bachelor.

Lucky Peak State Park, Idaho

Located just southeast of Boise, Lucky Peak is relaxing state park whose primary features are water activities. Lucky Peak Dam’s beaches are popular with the swimmers. Discovery Park features fishing in the Boise River. The park also includes the full-service Spring Shores Marina.

Goose Island State Park, Texas

Goose Island is a very unique natural destination. While it offers a variety of outdoor activities swimming is not among them; oyster shells, mud flats and marsh grass compose the shoreline making swimming conditions less than ideal. Families can still enjoy birding, nature hikes, boating, fishing and camping while visiting Goose Island. Rangers provide guided nature walks and in the summer kids can borrow Junior Ranger Explorer Packs that include binoculars, a magnifying glass and crayons (among other items) to record what they see.

Jody Victor