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Traveling the width and length of this great country can certainly excite a person to want to try to take in every sight and every unique experience that is possible in this vast and diverse land. It is a fine ambition if you set it as your goal early in your family life to achieve one of the fun objectives that many try to accomplish before they end their traveling days. Some of the missions people set out on are truly amazing. But you have to know that even if they dont succeed in these quests, they are going to have fun trying.
Many families make it a goal to have a picture of the family with their feet standing on every one of the fifty states of the union. Now, this is an ambitious objective to be sure and one that may take years to accomplish. But as your children get a big kick out of each new photo you take that adds to the count, you will be developing a wonderful travelogue of a lifetime of seeing the best America has to offer. And you can get some help in some places where you can hit more than one state at a time. In the southwest, there is a location called The Four Corners where the four states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah all come to a point in one exact spot. By putting your feet in two states and your hands in two others, you can get four of your states checked off with one stop.
Another terrific way to document a lifetime of sightseeing is stickers or patches. Most of gift shops in the fine sights all around the country will sell you a bumper sticker for your car, a patch for your coat or some other memento to have as a remembrance of your visit to see that great sight. So as you travel, if you pick up a similar item at each fun stop along the way, that can make quite an impressive display on a suitcase or a tapestry of patches from the great sights all around the country.
America is gifted to be home to some of the finest bodies of the water in the world. For many, a visit to one ocean is the dream of a lifetime. But another variation on the theme of great sightseeing missions is to touch all of the oceans of the country in one year. It’s quite a quest to get over to California, Oregon or Washington to touch the Pacific, across the expansive homeland to touch the Atlantic in Florida, Maine or Massachusetts and then back on another long trek to put your hand in the warm waters of the gulf coast. If you can accomplish this ambitious quest, you indeed have some serious bragging rights to show off. So make sure you take dated pictures in case someone doubts that it can be done.
It is never too late in life to make it your goal to see all you can see of this wonderful country we call home. Many who work hard all their lives enjoy the fruit of their labors by purchasing a mobile home and setting out to spend the night in as many of the great national parks of the country as they can. This is a country who has taken great care to preserve vast sections of our wilderness in national parks. So it is quite an undertaking to sleep in every one of them. As you travel on your vacations, you may meet some of these intrepid travelers who may quite literally have no other home than their mobile home.
However, you plan to document your travels in the great country, you will be doing so to pay honor to the fact that you got to celebrate all of the greatness of our wonderful country. And the greatest thing about these quests is that even if you succeed in your chosen goal, you will never tire of seeing this great land and celebrating what is great about being able to say, I am an American.
The classic conflict that comes up when the family is voting on the next great vacation outing is, Should we go to the mountains or the beach? Well if you review all that America has to offer, it wont get much easier because we have some of the most exciting mountains and the finest beaches in the whole world right here in the USA.
Maybe world travelers can speak of the great beaches of France or Europe but you dont have to fly over the ocean to be on some of the best beaches that can be had this side of heaven. And it stands to reason America would posses some of the most extraordinary and sought after beaches in the world. With an ocean on three sides of the country, the shores of Americas coast are literally thousands of miles long. So it isnt whether America has great beaches but which one to pick that is really a question.
Sometimes we here on the mainland forget that Hawaii is just as much America as Iowa or Massachusetts. But Hawaii has something very special to offer and that is the finest beaches in the world for swimming, surfing or just laying on the sand soaking up the rays. The only problem with Hawaiis beaches is that there is so much to do on the Islands and so much beauty everywhere you look that it is hard to take the time to really enjoy those beaches for all their worth. But they deserve a big part of your vacation schedule so take advantage of these idyllic beaches which you are enjoying your visit to the islands.
Just a short hop over the ocean to the mainland and you can be on the beaches of California which rival Hawaiis and, in fact, any beach in the US or around the world. California has such a long coastline that you can find almost every kind of beach terrain you can think of traveling up and down Californias coast. Not only that, the colorful and eccentric California population is always a great people watching experience as you relax on those beaches, especially on the well known beaches of Los Angeles like Laguna or Venice Beach.
But you dont have to be left without beach access if you live on the east coast because the shorelines of New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Cape Code and even Maine are just as scenic and picturesque as any the west coast have to offer. Even in the middle of the hustle and bustle of city life in Boston, there are wonderful beaches nestled right in with the urban build up. Revere Beach, which lies just north of Boston, is a hidden treasure. With its long sandy shoreline, it is the delight for many a Massachusetts youth looking for a romantic beach or a place to just get in some good ocean fun.
We cannot end our discussion of great American beaches without mentioning the phenomenal opportunities on both the east and west shores of Florida. The perfect pure white sands that is as soft as cotton can be found on the west banks of the peninsula that are so pristine that they compare with some of the great beaches of Europe.
So if this summer sneaks up on your family and that battle of mountain or beach rears its head, you know that you dont have to settle for the mountains if the family has its heart set on some ocean side fun, some swimming, surfing, sailing and all the other great fun that can be had at one of Americas great beaches. From the Midwest, you literally have all the beaches we have discussed plus hundreds more that we will leave for you to get out there and discover. So get out those swim trunks and dust off that snorkeling mask. Americas top beaches are calling for you.
When we think of really terrific destinations to find great sights and experiences, we somehow tend to think of the coasts of America. And to be sure, from the California to Washington State to the eastern seaboard, these states boast some of the most exciting vacation destinations we have in this country. But its never a good idea to overlook the wonderful locations located dead center in the middle the country for that experience of the Midwest that will be as unique as your trip to Boston or San Francisco.
Kansas City boasts a robust Midwest culture that is both boisterously western and very metropolitan as well. It is actually a beautiful city that is filled with fabulous art that is on display literally anywhere you can turn. The city fathers made sure that art was a big part of how the city grew up and you will see interesting and skillfully made art sitting in the middle of a garden, off the side of the road or in an out of the way place all over Kansas City.
But no trip to Kansas City is complete without enjoying the amazing tastes of what is possibly the best steak and barbeque in the entire country. Kansas City sits directly on the route of the Cumberland trail. If you remember your history well, you know that in the days of the early west, the Cumberland trail was used by cattlemen to drive herds of cattle up to the markets of Kansas City, Omaha and other great merchant stops to be sold and shipped out via railroad or by barge to be meals for consumers all over the country in the world. Small wonder that it is Kansas City is the home of chefs who know better than anyone does how to prepare beef that will literally melt in your mouth. Some have said the quality of meat you will get in a fine Kansas City restaurant is so good that you wont even have to use your teeth to eat it.
Kansas City is also home to some great historic stops. Just a few miles away from the city center, you can visit the inspiring Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. You can walk through the notes and pictures of the term of this great president and get a feel for what he went through as he made decisions that shaped the history of this great nation. And dont be surprised if you will find your kids not bored at all but completely enthralled with the story of the life of this historic American president. And its likely if they take back some mementos from their visit, they will probably get extra credit in school for taking the time to enjoy this wonderful stop in Independence Missouri.
But Kansas City is also all about fun. For the kids, Kansas City has some of the best water parks in the country. You can drop them off for a day of fun and the adults can take in some of the exciting casinos that have sprung up along the river for some pleasant adult time of recreation as well. Then that night, everybody can gather at a Kansas City Royals baseball game and take in Americas pastime, eat a few hot dogs and enjoy one of the best baseball parks in the nation. Whether the Royals win or lose doesnt matter. Its a thrill to go to a major league game and it will be a memory the kids will be talking about for months, maybe years to come after you finish your trip to Kansas City Missouri.