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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri • Page T004

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St. Louis, Missouri
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T004
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PAGE T04MD1TR0704 T4 ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH TRAVEL SUNDAY, JULY 4, 2004 ALABAMA U.S. Space and Rocket Center The past, present and future of space exploration are explored at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. Attractions include space vehicles, rockets and artifacts, simulated space rides, demonstrations, hands-on exhibits, an IMAX movie and a space camp for youngsters.

ALASKA Inside Passage The coastline of southeastern Alaska is dotted with islands, inlets and waterways, collectively known as the Inside Passage. Most Alaska cruises traverse the passage, beginning in Seattle or Vancouver, British Columbia. Alaska towns along the way include Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Sitka, Juneau and Skagway, plus Glacier Bay National Park. ARIZONA Grand Canyon National Park A vast chasm carved over millennia through the rocks of the Colorado Plateau, the Grand Canyon offers most awe-inspiring views. Visitors can take in the sights from the roads and overlooks, hike the trails or the turbulent Colorado River.

Merely sitting at the rim and watching the shadows lengthen across the spires and buttes is a humbling experience that brings solace to hectic lives. ARKANSAS Hot Springs National Park The park protects hot springs that from the southwestern slope of Hot Springs Mountain. People have used the hot-spring water in therapeutic baths for more than 200 years to treat rheumatism and other ailments. is a historic district of eight grand bathhouses, with the Fordyce Bathhouse restored to its former glory and now housing the park visitors center. CALIFORNIA Disneyland Billed as happiest place on Disneyland opened in 1955 in Anaheim, as the themed park.

It has eight areas: MainStreet U.S.A., Adventureland, Frontier- land, New Orleans Square, Critter Country, Fantasy- land, Toontown and Tomorrowland. The park closes most nights with spectacular a magical experience for children. COLORADO Rocky Mountain National Park At least 60 mountains in the park exceed 12,000 feet, topping off at 14,255 feet on the sized summit of Longs Peak. The park has a hiking trail system that, if linked together, would stretch from Denver almost to Santa Fe, N.M. Some of the more than 450 miles of streams tumble down waterfalls.

CONNECTICUT Mystic Seaport A family destination with spectacular tall ships, a recreated 19th-century coastal village and lots of activities. Since the 1600s, more than 600 ships were built along the Mystic River before the advent of steam power and the decline of wooden shipbuilding after the Civil War. Today, the seaport acts as a national maritime museum and the quintessential New England experience, offering visitors of all ages a link to our seafaring history. DELAWARE Winterthur Winterthur is the former home of Henry Francis du Pont, an avid antiques collector and horticulturist. In the early 20th century, du Pont designed Winterthur in the spirit of 18th- and 19th-century European country houses.

Visitors can tour the farmland and 60-acre garden and inspect its museum collections of antiques and Americana to experience our heritage. WASHINGTON, D.C. National Air and Space Museum The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum maintains the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft in the world. The museum, which is in the National Mall, has hundreds of artifacts on display, including the original Wright 1903 Flyer, Charles of St. the Apollo 11 command module and a lunar rock sample.

FLORIDA Walt Disney World In Lake Buena Vista, Walt Disney World is a 47-square- mile entertainment and recreation center. It has four theme parks, two water parks, 31 resort hotels, six golf courses, two spas and a shopping and dining complex. The park features a spectacle each night over Magic Kingdom. GEORGIA Savannah Historic District A National Historic Landmark, the district is known for its 18th- and 19th-cen- tury architecture. It encompasses the original town plan laid out in 1733 by Gen.

James E. Oglethorpe, founder of the British colony of Georgia. Most of the original plot squares remain and are surrounded by examples of buildings in the Georgian, Greek Revival and Gothic styles. HAWAII Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Established in 1916, the park displays the results of 70 million years of volcanism, migration and evolution. It encompasses diverse environments that range from sea level to the summit of the most massive volcano, Mauna Loa, at 13,677 feet.

The park also is home to Kilauea, the most active volcano. More than half of the park is designated as wilderness, offering unusual hiking and camping opportunities. IDAHO Sun Valley Resort Since 1936, skiers from all over the world have been discovering the slopes of Sun Valley. Count Felix Schaf- fgotsch began building what he billed as the in 1935 in the Ketchum Valley in central Idaho. Railroad magnate Averell Harriman shared the vision and created a resort worthy of its breathtaking and majestic setting.

ILLINOIS Navy Pier Situated on Lake Michigan east of downtown Chicago, the pier opened in 1916 as a shipping and entertainment area. Today, the pier is home to restaurants, shops, exhibition facilities and a 150-foot Ferris wheel. Other attractions include the Crystal Gardens indoor palm court, a musical carousel, the new Skyline Stage ice-skating rink and the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows. INDIANA Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore About 50 miles southeast of Chicago in northwest Indiana, the lakeshore runs for nearly 25 miles along southern Lake Michigan. The park contains miles of beaches, sand dunes, bog, wetlands, woodland forest and an 1830s French Canadian homestead.

It is ranked seventh among national parks in native plant diversity, with 1,418 species within its boundaries. IOWA Amana Colonies A National Historic Landmark in the rolling hills of eastern Iowa, the Amana Colonies were established after the Civil War by a group of German-speaking European settlers who belonged to a religious group known as the Community of True Inspiration. They began a communal system of living divided into several villages, encompassing more than 20,000 acres of land. KANSAS Sedgwick County Zoo The 247-acre zoo opened in Wichita in 1971 and has been ranked among the top zoos in the world. Home to more than 2,500 animals of nearly 500 species, the zoo is the top outdoor family attraction in Kansas.

A new gorilla exhibit opens this month. KENTUCKY Mammoth Cave Mammoth Cave is the longest recorded cave system in the world, with more than 348 miles explored and mapped. more than three times longer than any other known cave, and geologists estimate there could be as many as 600 miles of undiscovered passageways. The national park was authorized in 1926 to preserve the cave system, the scenic river valleys of the Green and Nolin rivers and a section of the hill country of south-central Kentucky. LOUISIANA French Quarter The best way to experience the French Quarter, the old district of New Orleans, is by foot or by carriage.

Tours are available that highlight the cemeteries, the architecture, the history and the haunted side. A stroll up Bourbon Street can be an eye-opener, while visitors to Royal Street will enough art and antiques to stock a museum. Jackson Square sits in front of St. Louis Cathedral and is surrounded by musicians, artists and mimes on most days. MAINE Acadia National Park The national park established east of the Mississippi, Acadia is on the rugged coast of Maine.

The park encompasses more than 47,000 acres of granite-domed mountains, woodlands, lakes and ponds and ocean shoreline. Favorite recreational activities include hiking to the top of Cadillac Mountain and biking the more than 40 miles of tree-lined carriage roads. MARYLAND National Aquarium National Aquarium has programs to interest everyone. You can enjoy a continental breakfast and then watch a live shark feeding. How about a sleepover to explore the galleries after dark? Junior scientists can go behind the scenes to study the behavior of the top predators.

The aquarium has more than 10,500 animals, including marine mammals such as dolphins. MASSACHUSETTS Faneuil Hall A National Historic Park in Boston, Faneuil Hall was built in 1742 and sits at the site of the old town dock. Town meetings were held in the old market building from 1764 to 1774 and included Samuel Adams and others leading protesters against the imposition of taxes on the colonies. The building was enlarged in 1806. Market stalls on the service shoppers much as they did in Paul day.

MICHIGAN Mackinac Island Situated in the center of the Great Lakes waterway, the island was a gathering place for early Indian tribes. Since the mid-1800s, tourists have visited Mackinac Island in the summers to escape the heat of the cities and enjoy the fresh lake breezes. Because motor vehicles are prohibited, visitors today enjoy the same solitude, stillness and scenery that have characterized the island for hundreds of years. MINNESOTA Mall of America The largest entertainment and retail complex in America, the mall has some 42 million visitors each year, making it the No. 1 attraction.

The mall has more than 525 specialty stores, four national department stores, some 50 restaurants, seven nightclubs and 14 movie theaters. If a shopper spent 10 minutes in every store, it would take him or her 86 hours to complete a visit to the mall. MISSISSIPPI Tunica casinos The arrival of 10 Las Vegas- style casinos turned the once-sleepy town of Tunica into a land of opportunity, with lowered taxes and new jobs, roads and attractions. Travel Weekly has named Tunica as one of its Top 10 up-and-coming travel destinations. Two new attractions, RiverPark and Tunica National Golf and Tennis, are expected to add to the draw.

MISSOURI Gateway Arch Standing 630 feet tall on the St. Louis riverfront, the stainless steel arch was completed in 1965 at a total cost of less than $15 million. Architect Eero inspired design was chosen in a nationwide competition that sought a symbol of the pioneer spirit. The Museum of Westward Expansion, located below the Arch, contains an extensive collection of mounted animal specimens, American Indian artifacts and Lewis and Clark exhibits. MONTANA Glacier National Park Situated on the Canadian border, the park preserves more than a million acres of forest, alpine meadows and lakes.

The spectacular glaciated landscape is a paradise, with some 700 miles of maintained trails. Across the border is a sister park, Waterton Lakes National Park, home of the impressive Prince of Wales Lodge. NEBRASKA Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo The zoo in Omaha has evolved from the small Riverview Park zoo, established in 1894, into a world-class tourist attraction and a leader in environmental education. The Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari displays wildlife as it once lived.

The new Hubbard Gorilla Valley has an outdoor habitat in which the great apes seem right at home. NEVADA Las Vegas Strip This of the desert Southwest has evolved from a collection of casinos where gamblers hang out into a tourist destination with attractions that have nothing to do with cards or dice. There are still plenty of places where you can lose your money, but you also can dine in a star restaurant, watch the spectacle of the Cirque du Soleil or ride in a gondola gliding through a make-believe Venetian canal. NEW HAMPSHIRE Storyland Situated in the White Mountains at Glen, N.H., Storyland is a charming, reasonably priced chil- park themed to classic fairy tales. The 20 rides generally are designed for parents and children to enjoy together.

The roller coaster, log and Tilt- rides all are aimed at the under-12 set. Attractions include a ride in a pumpkin coach, an antique car or a pirate ship. NEW JERSEY Atlantic City casinos The casinos along the Atlantic City boardwalk are enjoying a rebirth. The Atlantic City Hilton, with Italian marble, beveled glass, murals and paintings, is one of the classiest in the city. Wild West Casino is built to resemble a Western frontier town, complete with a mountain, waterfalls and animated prospectors.

Caesars is big, gaudy and a haven for high- rollers. NEW MEXICO Carlsbad Caverns This national park contains more than 100 known caves, including Lechuguilla Cave, the deepest limestone cave at 1,567 feet and its third- longest. Carlsbad Caverns has one of the largest underground chambers and countless formations. highly accessible, with tours offered year- round. The park museum contains nearly a million specimens that document its human use, starting in prehistoric times.

NEW YORK Statue of Liberty Situated on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty was a gift of international friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States. It is one of the most universal symbols of political freedom and democracy. The statue was dedicated in 1886, designated a national monument in 1924 and extensively restored in 1986. The statue, which has been closed to the public since has been undergoing security and safety upgrades and is scheduled to reopen late this month or early next month. NORTH CAROLINA Outer Banks North Outer Banks is where England attempted to colonize the Americas, and where Wilbur and Orville Wright gravity from a sandy dune.

Because of the fragile environment, the federal government set aside much of these islands as the national seashore. Cape Hatteras National Seashore now preserves some of the beaches. NORTH DAKOTA Theodore Roosevelt National Park In the heart of the colorful North Dakota badlands, the park is home to a variety of plants and animals, including bison, prairie dogs and elk. Theodore Roosevelt came to the badlands in 1883 on a hunting trip. He returned the next year and established the Elkhorn Ranch.

His alarm at the destruction of some big-game species and the over-grazing of the grasslands led Roosevelt to adopt conservation as a hallmark of his presidency. OHIO Cedar Point Amusement Park Situated on a Lake Erie peninsula near Sandusky, the park is home to the largest collection of rides (67) and roller coasters (16) in the world. Top Thrill Dragster is the tallest and fastest roller coaster at 420 feet tall and a top speed of 120 mph. Amusement Today has named Cedar Park the best overall park in each of the six years that the award has been given. OKLAHOMA Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum In 1995, a terrorist bomb destroyed the Alfred P.

Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, killing 168 and injuring countless others. The memorial to that tragedy includes two gates at each end of a 400-foot pool and 168 empty glass and granite chairs in honor of each of the dead. The museum walks visitors through that disastrous day, through interviews with survivors, rescue workers and relatives. OREGON Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge On the Oregon side of the gorge, Multnomah Falls is the second-highest year- round waterfall in America. The water of the falls drops 620 feet from its origin on Larch Mountain.

Unusually cold weather can turn the plummeting water into a frozen icicle, with a few drops dripping from the bottom. Miles of hiking paths surround the national scenic area. PENNSYLVANIA Independence National Historic Park Home of the Liberty Bell, the park is in downtown Philadelphia, an area often referred to as the birthplace of our nation. Visitors can see the bell, an international symbol of freedom, and Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were created.

A section of the park where Benjamin home once stood is dedicated to teaching about life and accomplishments. RHODE ISLAND Narragansett Bay The bay is an estuary, a place where fresh water from rivers and streams meets and mixes with salt water. The result produces some of the most biologically productive ecosystems in the world. Narragansett Bay is a spawning ground, nursery, habitat, workplace and playground for hundreds of species. With some 256 miles of shoreline, the bay attracts about 12 million people a year.

SOUTH CAROLINA Charleston historic district Considered the cultural capital of the South, the historic district is a living museum of 18th-century homes and plantations, museums, a city market and art galleries. The Patriot Point Naval Maritime Museum is home to the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, the Fighting Lady of World War II. Charleston Museum, founded in 1773, is museum. Market Hall, erected in 1841, is modeled after a Greek temple. SOUTH DAKOTA Mount Rushmore The four carved in stone on Mount Rushmore represent the 150 years of American history.

George Washington guided the birth of our nation. Thomas Jefferson expanded the country through the Louisiana Purchase. Abraham Lincoln preserved the nation during a great civil war. And Theodore Roosevelt built the country from a rural republic to a world power. The four are an inspiration to millions of visitors a year.

TENNESSEE Great Smoky Mountains National Park The park has ridge upon ridge of endless forest straddling the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, representing one of the largest protected areas in the eastern United States. The park is world renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture. The Smokies are a paradise with more than 800 miles of trails. TEXAS River Walk in San Antonio The walk is considered a city park, offering 35- minute narrated boat tours of the San Antonio river. The park is free, although a boat ride costs $6 for adults and $1.25 for children.

There also are dining boats on the river, and you can get married on Marriage Island. River Walk is lined with hotels and restaurants. UTAH Temple Square Known for its beauty and serenity, historic Temple Square sits on a landscaped, 10-acre plot of ground in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City. The centerpiece of the square is the six-spired Salt Lake Temple. Adjacent is the domed Tabernacle, home of the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the great Tabernacle organ.

Free concerts are given in the Assembly Hall, a charming Gothic-style building. VERMONT Ben factory Nestled in the heart of the Green Mountains of Vermont, the ice cream factory sits on a rolling hill overlooking the Worcester Range, just north of the small town of Waterbury. The 30-minute factory tour teaches everything you need to know about ice- cream making and ends in the Flavoroom for samples of the day. The scoop shop features all of Ben VIRGINIA Colonial Williamsburg Williamsburg was the capital of Virginia when the dream of American freedom and independence was taking shape. From 1699 to 1780, Williamsburg was the political and cultural center of the most tial of the American colonies.

After the state capital was moved to Richmond, Williamsburg was a simple, quiet college town, home of the College of William and Mary. Today, more than 80 of the original structures are preserved for tours. WASHINGTON Olympic National Park About 95 percent of the park is designated as wilderness, with glacier- capped mountains, the wild coast and cent stands of old-growth forests. Isolated for eons by glacial ice, and later by the waters of Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Olympic Peninsula developed its own distinct array of plants and animals. Eight kinds of plants and 15 kinds of animals are found nowhere else on Earth.

WEST VIRGINIA New River Gorge National River The New River in southern West Virginia is among the oldest rivers on the continent. a rugged, white- water river that northward through deep canyons. The national river designation protected 53 miles of the New River as a waterway. More than 70,000 acres of land along the river between the towns of Hinton and Fayetteville are overseen by the National Park Service. The area is a favorite with rafters and kayakers.

WISCONSIN The Dells The Wisconsin Dells, 57 miles northwest of Madison, is a family vacation area that has cornered the market on water- parks. Other attractions include the largest go-cart facility Big Mount Olympus Theme Park with 17 elevated tracks and Extreme World theme park, which boasts the tallest bungee tower and a haunted house. Wizard Quest is a fantasy world reminiscent of or of the WYOMING Yellowstone National Park President Ulysses S. Grant signed a law in 1872 that declared the Yellowstone area straddling Idaho, Montana and Wyoming as a public park the and enjoyment of the Geothermal wonders such as Old Faithful delight the millions who show up each year to visit the national park. Bubbling cauldrons of mud and roaring geysers send steaming plumes skyward.

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