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Is A 24-Hour Vacation… Possible?

Five locations where a 24-hour vacation is completely possible.

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     Have a long layover? Maybe a day to kill during a longer trip? Or just like to get out of town? If any of those apply, these five cities are the best places in the world to spend a 24-hour vacation! 

ISTANBUL

     Istanbul is the ideal one-day vacation destination for the historian, as it lies right on the Bosphorus river, the geographical division point of Asia and Europe. The architecture in Istanbul is truly breathtaking as some of it has been there since the Roman and Ottoman Empires. Can’t-miss attractions include the Topkapi Palace, the former home of the Ottoman sultan, the Hagia Sophia, a sixth-century mosque, and the Grand Bazaar, which is the oldest covered market in the world. And if you have any extra time and feel like relaxing a bit, enjoy one of the city’s numerous Turkish baths, or historichammams.

AMSTERDAM

     Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and it owes a lot of its beauty to its architecture. You could spend an entire day there just walking in and taking in the buildings and you wouldn’t feel like you’ve wasted your day. If you don’t feel like walking, there are also daily boat tours that travel along the many canals that run through the city. Not to mention the countless museums in Amsterdam all with amazing works of art. And of course, no Amsterdam vacation would be complete without a trip to the Anne Frank house.

 

SEATTLE

     The jewel of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle may seem like a big city, but what makes it attractive for a short trip is the fact that many of its best attractions are all very close to each other. Even with only 24 hours, you’ll have enough time to take in the Museum of Pop Culture, the Space Needle, and the world-famous Pike Place Market. Try to throw one of those fish if they’ll let you. It’s harder than you think!

HONG KONG

     Hong Kong is one of the biggest and fastest-moving metropolitan cities in the world. The sights and views and endless and bountiful in this lively city. Be sure to check out the giant Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island, and of course the Hong Kong Museum of History. If you’re a tea nut, rumor has it that the MingCha Tea House has some of the best tea in the city. And the best part about Hong Kong? Unlike the rest of China, anyone visiting from North America or Europe don’t have to get a visa in advance. 

REYKJAVIK

     Reykjavik is the capital of one of the most scenically beautiful countries in the world, Iceland. It is the home of the famous Blue Lagoon, the geothermal spa that you’ve probably seen on your Instagram feed more than once. There you can also find the architectural feat, Hallgrimskirkya. Which is just an enormous, beautiful church. And, if you’re feeling saucy, take a tour of the Phallological Musem, which is a museum entirely dedicated to, well, phalluses.

 


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Food

Making The Stop At Roadside Attractions

Taking the time to stop and enjoy the roadside attractions.

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     Road trips aren’t just about point A & point B; it’s about the journey. The highways of America are filled with unique roadside attractions that divert your attention when traveling to your roadside attraction. Instead of driving past these attractions, let’s examine the best. 

CABAZON DINOSAURS

     You may recognize these roadside dinosaurs from the movie “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.” These two giant concrete dinosaurs named Dinny the Dinosaur and Mr. Rex are located in Cabazon, CA. You can find these behemoths just West of Palm Springs, California on the 10 freeway. Dinny and Apatosaurus measure 150 feet and Mr. Rex a Tyrannosaurus Rex is 65 feet. You can even make your way inside the T-Rex’s head!

Sadly, the original owners sold the roadside attraction in the mid-90s and the new owners put a Creationist museum on the property. 

CARHENGE

     Head to Alliance, Nebraska next time you are driving through the heartland of America and stop by Carhenge. It’s the full-scale replica of Stonehenge in England… but made with junker cars. Artist Jim Reinders studied the original sculpture while living in England and came home to make the statue as a memorial to his recently deceased father. Made with 39 cars, which were upended and dug into the ground.

PENNDOT ROAD SIGN SCULPTURE GARDEN

     A small art school in Pennsylvania came up with the brilliant idea to repurpose old street signs and turn them into a wonderful piece of roadside art. Allegheny College sponsored the attraction and students created all the art. The art spans a quarter-mile stretch of Smock Highway just southwest of Meadville, PA. If you are traveling through Pennsylvania this summer, stop by.

CADILLAC RANCH

     If you are driving through Texas, chances are you are cruising Interstate 40, which drives through Amarillo. This is where you’ll find Cadillac Ranch, a huge art installation made by three hippies from San Francisco, CA. They took a bunch of old Cadillacs and buried them hood first into the ground, then covered them with graffiti.

PORTER SCULPTURE PARK

     When driving through the barren wasteland of South Dakota on Interstate 90, around 25-miles West of Sioux Falls, you’ll stumble upon the Porter Sculpture Park. Imagine huge metal sculptures in a wide-open field and the only backdrop is Mt. Rushmore off in the distance. You’ll find over 50 huge sculptures on the 10-acre park. The biggest piece of art is easily the giant bull’s head, which measures 60-feet-tall, which just happens to be the same size as the face on Mount Rushmore.


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Food

The Best Beaches Of The Biggest Cities

Big cities are home to some of the best beaches in the world. You just have to know the right city…

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     There is nothing quite like hitting the beach. Some of our big cities are home to some of the best beaches in the world… you really just need to be in the know. Without further ado, put on that sunscreen (we recommend Doc Block), grab your largest sun hat, comfiest beach towel, and plenty of water to enjoy a day (or night) at these big-city beaches.

Miami Beach, Miami
     This is an obvious first choice for the list. Miami is one of the few cities where you consider the beach before you think about the rest of the place. No matter what you’re looking for you can find it at the beautiful Miami Beach. You can party amongst your peers or enjoy a beach that is buzzing with energy. Or you can head up to the north side where you can really stretch your legs out and have some more space to yourself. Miami Beach is iconic – once you see it you’ll understand why. Miami is definitely a special city.

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu
     Honolulu is a big city… but this beach happens to be in Hawaii. The beach here is known as Waikiki and it brings in tourists from all around the world. You can surf, paddleboard, or just relax on the sand all up and down this marvelous coast. Hanging out can tend to get a bit crowded since this beach is so popular but it is so magnificent. You will hardly notice all the people. Honolulu is a super fun city as well, but again, don’t forget to stop by Waikiki.

Santa Monica State Beach, Los Angeles
     Everyone knows this beach because of the remarkable Santa Monica Pier. The Ferris Wheel is iconic… there’s no question about it. Nothing compares. Tourists and locals alike flock to Santa Monica State Beach to enjoy the waves and all the fun family games located on the pier. If you get bored on the beach then you’re only a short walk away from awesome shopping at the 3rd Street Promenade.

Revere Beach, Boston
     Named after Paul Revere, the Revere Beach has a history to match the great American icon. This sandy spot is the oldest public beach in the country, so maybe this is where Paul Revere, Ben Franklin, and friends would hang-ten. This beach is not usually over-crowded so you can really enjoy the Atlantic here as well as exploring the history. Bring a metal detector and who knows, you might find one of Benjamin Franklin’s beer steins. 


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Food

Biting Down On The Best BBQ Joints Across America

If you love barbecue, you’ll want to have this list of the places across the country!

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Americans can’t help it – BBQ is loved. It’s as American as baseball and apple pie. But with a plethora of BBQ joints out there, it’s hard to know which ones are actually worth it. Here, now, are the absolute best BBQ spots in the country. Enjoy!

 

SOUTH CAROLINA

South Carolina barbecue takes a slow-cook approach, but they’re all about the sauce. Specifically, the question of which one to use! There are four common sauces in South Carolina: light tomato, heavy tomato, vinegar and pepper, and mustard. So might as well try all four by visiting Q2U Pitt and Catering, Besieger’s BBQ, or Sticky Fingers.

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE

Naturally, Memphis made its way on this list. They have some of the best BBQ ribs in the world in Memphis. You can get them dry, meaning the pork is given a spice rub before the cook, or wet, involving a delicious sauce being applied to the ribs before, during, and after the cook! The best spots in Memphis are definitely The Bar-B-Q Shop, Leonard’s Pit Barbecue, and Charles Vergos’ Rendezvous.

ALABAMA

Alabama’s claim to barbecue fame lies in their introduction of the first white sauce. The man that invented it, “Big” Bob Gibson, didn’t like the way typical vinegar-based sauces paired with his chicken. So he developed a tangy mayonnaise variety that fans have been loving ever since. Dreamland Bar-B-Que locations are all across the state and worth a stop, and Golden Rule and Full Moon BBQ are the other can’t miss joints.

TEXAS IN GENERAL

Naturally, Texas has some of the best barbecue in the country. There are different styles throughout the state, from slow-cooked, mesquite style of Central Texas, to the barbacoa Mexican-style of South Texas, to the extremely slow-cooked style of East Texas. Some of the best spots include Snow’s BBQ, Lamberts, Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que, Franklin Barbecue, and Iron Works BBQ.

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

St. Louis takes barbecue so seriously it has its own style. It revolves around grilling the meat and then applying some delicious sauce after the cook. The sauce is typically tomato-based and has a sweetness to it. The best BBQ spots in St. Louis are Salt + Smoke and SugarFire Smokehouse.

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

Just like it’s friends over in St. Louis, Kansas City has a BBQ style all their own. They like to prepare the meat with a spice rub, slow-cook it over various woods, and then douse it in some tomato-based sauce. The best spots in Kansas City are probably Car Bar, Jack Stack BBQ, Gates Bar-B-Q, Joe’s Kansas City BBQ, LC’s Bar-BQ, Q39, and Plowboys Barbecue.

 

SANTA MARIA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA

The central coast area of California has a rich history of Spanish-style barbecue, which involves the meat being rolled in salt and pepper based rub and cooked over a red-oak fire. It’s also usually accompanied with some salsa, beans, and bread. The best spots in the area are The Hitching Post, Far Western Tavern, and Shaw’s Steakhouse.

NORTH CAROLINA

In North Carolina, it’s all about smoking pork over hardwood coals. They have two different styles in the state. First, the Eastern style prefers to slow-cook an entire pig, while the Lexington style involves simply smoking just the pork shoulder. The best spots in the state are Skylight Inn BBQ, Sam Jones BBQ, Lexington Barbecue, and Buxton Hall Barbecue.

WESTERN KENTUCKY

The thing that makes barbecue from Western Kentucky so unique is their use of a rarely used meat: mutton. Kentucky has always had a large sheep population, so it makes sense that they’ve used the meat for so long. They also tend to use a more vinegary sauce than other areas. The spots you have to hit if you find yourself in Western Kentucky are Old Hickory Bar-B-Que, Ole South Bar-B-Q, and Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn.


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