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Posted by Victor Crew on

American Cities All Travel Junkies Need to 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.

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.

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.

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

Summer Vacations

One of the greatest parts of our national heritage is diversity: of people, places and cultures. With international travel becoming easier and the popularity of luxury vacations the family road trip has lost popularity. With the nation park system celebrating its centennial birthday, this is the perfect time to help our young people experience and connect with the beautiful and varied landscapes all over our country.

Travelers might also consider Lonely Planet’s top ten must-see destinations in the United States. As one will see, this list suggests cities and regions that will provide very different experiences for travelers.

Lonely Planet’s Best in the United States for 2016
1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2. Natchez, Mississippi
3. Yellowstone National Park (Montana, Wyoming, Idaho)
4. Birmingham, Alabama
5. Alaska
6. Somerville, Massachusetts
7. Northwest Arkansas
8. San Antonio, Texas
9. Southern New Mexico
10. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Posted by Jody Victor's Crew on

Adrenalin Seekers: Must Ride Roller Coasters Summer, 2016

“Valravn” (Cedar Point, Ohio)
Standing 223 feet tall, “Valravn” is the 18th roller coaster to open at Cedar Point, “the roller coaster capital of the world,” in Sandusky, Ohio.

Open in early May, Valravn claims to be the world’s tallest dive coaster (223 feet), fastest dive coaster (75 mph) and the longest dive coaster (3,415 feet), with most inversions on a dive coaster (3) and the longest drop on a dive coaster (214 feet).

Leave your lunch behind.

“Skull Island: Reign of Kong” (Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Florida)
King Kong comes back for a new adventure in “Skull Island: Reign of Kong,” an immersive dark ride featuring animatronic figures and 3-D screens.

Riders on a mission end up fighting for their survival traveling through an ancient temple, a prehistoric jungle and underworld caves, all to face the king himself.

“King Kong” movie director Peter Jackson is consulting on the project, which is likely to open after a June 23 press preview day.

“Justice League: Battle for Metropolis” (Six Flags Great America, Illinois)

Opening Memorial Day weekend, riders will get to join forces with Batman, Wonder Woman and other Justice League members to do battle with the Joker and Lex Luthor in Six Flag’s “Justice League: Battle for Metropolis” 4-D dark ride.

As members of the Justice League Reserve Team, riders get to shoot at targets along the way.

“The Monster” (Adventureland, Iowa)
Adventureland waited a long time to debut a new ride — more than 20 years — but the theme park went all out with “The Monster” steel roller coaster.

The ride, which opens in June, will feature a 2,500-foot long track with a 133-foot vertical lift hill, a 101 degree drop and a negative-G stall loop.

That’s a slow loop that creates a sensation of falling out of the roller coaster.

“Storm Chaser” (Kentucky Kingdom)
“Storm Chaser,” the park’s second roller coaster in three years and fifth roller coaster overall, is a special 100-foot-tall wooden/steel hybrid ride that will reach maximum speeds of 52 mph.

It features 12 airtime moments and multiple inversions — including a corkscrew and 10-story barrel-roll drop from the first lift hill.

“Superman the Ride” (Six Flags New England, Massachusetts)
Even shorter: Superman takes over a traditional steel coaster, “Bizarro,” and transforms it into a virtual reality ride.

“Superman the Ride” draws guests to Superman’s war against evil in the fictional world of Metropolis and follow Superman as he battles evil.

Opening in June, the ride will reach speeds of 77 mph along a mile-long track.
Can’t get to New England to meet your favorite superhero?

“Superman Ride of Steel” also goes VR at Six Flags America in Largo, Maryland.
And Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio is adding virtual reality to its “Superman Krypton Coaster.”

“GaleForce” (Playland’s Castaway Cove, New Jersey)
Heading to the boardwalk in Ocean City, New Jersey, can be a trip back in time.

But the beachside Castaway Cove theme park also has rides to knock that cotton candy out of your hand.

This summer, the park will open the 125-foot-tall “GaleForce” three-launch roller coaster, reaching speeds up to 64 mph, a 90-degree drop and multiple inversions.

“Mako” (SeaWorld Orlando, Florida)
Named for one of the ocean’s fastest-known sharks, the “Mako” roller coaster opens June 10 at SeaWorld Orlando, anchoring a new shark-themed realm called Shark Wreck Reef.

“Mako” is a 200-foot-tall steel roller coaster making tight turns and steep drops, reaching speeds of up to 73 mph during the three-minute ride.

“Steamin’ Demon’s New Revolution Virtual Reality Coaster” (Six Flags Great Escape, New York)
Traditionalists can ride the “Steamin’ Demon,” which has three inversions, a loop coaster and double corkscrew, as it was introduced in 1984. It’s still awesome.

But starting June 25, riders can wear a Samsung Gear Virtual Reality headset and be transported into a realistic 360-degree virtual world where riders are fighter jet co-pilots trying to save the planet from an alien invasion.

The air-to-air combat is synced with twists and turns of the coaster.