Things To See and Do in Savannah, Georgia

The city of Savannah, Georgia is the oldest city in the state of Georgia, and features a number of historic sites throughout the city and just outside its limits. Initially founded in 1733, Savannah became the British colonial capital of the Province of Georgia. The city has done an excellent job maintaining its rich heritage from the colonial days and on through the development and expansion of the United States. With so many different places to visit, below are 17 things for visitors to see and do in the southern city of Savannah.

17. Skidaway Island State Park

Skidaway Island State Park is a 588-acre park located near Savannah, located on a barrier island that borders Runaway Negro Creek and Skidaway Straights and is part of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. The park features 87 tent/trailer/RV sites, 5 picnic shelters, a group shelter, 3 camper cabins, 3 pioneer campgrounds, 3 playgrounds, and an interpretive center.

Two nature trails in the park wind through marshes, forests and sand dunes, and feature observation towers to provide additional vantage points to scope out the areas flora and fauna. Bird watching is another popular activity at Skidaway Island State Park, along the Colonial Coast Birding Trail. The scenery within Skidaway Island is so popular in fact that the area has developed into a popular spot for wedding ceremonies to be held, with a permit of course.

Skidaway Island State Park Savannah
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16. Walking Food Tour

Why waste time researching where to eat when you can hit all the hottest spots on the Savannah Culinary & Cultural Walking Food Tour! This walking food tour not only gives you a taste of some of the best cuisine found in Savannah, but you’ll get to take in Savannah’s history along the way.

You’ll get an intimate experience on this tour as each tour is limited to just 14 people. Be sure to come with an empty stomach as you’ll make many stops along the way — enough for lunch!

 

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15. Grayson Stadium

Originally known simply as the Municipal Stadium, Grayson Stadium opened all the way back in 1926. However, a devastating hurricane in 1940 wracked the original stadium, causing a significant amount of damage. Major renovations occurred in 1941, and leading the fundraising charge was Spanish-American war veteran General William L. Grayson.

half of the funds coming from the Works Progress Association, the stadium was named in recognition for Grayson’s work in helping generate the funds for repairs. Currently, Grayson Stadium is home to the Savannah Sand Gnats, a minor league affiliate to the New York Mets, and formerly played host to the Savannah State University baseball team, and the annual Thanksgiving Day football game between two local high schools. With a capacity of 4,000, the stadium provides an intimate experience for a baseball game, a chance to truly embrace the sport on a more grassroots level.

Photo by: Savannah Sand Gnats
Photo by: Savannah Sand Gnats

14. Riverboat Sightseeing Cruise

When you need to give your feet a break, sit back and relax on the Savannah Riverboat Sightseeing Cruise! You’ll be able to see the city from a whole new perspective from the water.

There is a wide variety of cruise options to choose from to ensure you find the right one that fits your needs. For example, select cruises have live entertainment as well as meals. Further, the cruises are offered at different times to ensure you can find a time that works best for you.

Source: Shutterstock

13. First African Baptist Church

First organized in 1773 under the leadership of Reverend George Leile, by 1777 the church was officially constituted as a body of organized believers. With the guide of 3rd Pastor Reverend Andrew Marshall, the congregation came into possession of the present lands for the First African Baptist Church.

Inside the church, the light fixtures, baptismal pool, and 1832 Pipe Organ are all originals to the church. The solid oak pews in the church were installed during the early 1900s and were made by slaves. The ceiling of the building is inspired by the “Nine Patch Quilt” as a representation that the church was a safe house for slaves. In past times, the church served as the largest place for blacks and whites to meet during times of segregation.

First African Baptist Church
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12. Nighttime Ghost Tour

If you’re up for a spooky adventure then check out the Ghost City’s Dead of Night Tour. This tour lets you dig into the haunted history of Savannah and since the tour takes place after dark, it’ll feel even spookier!

The tour will take you to hard-to-find spots that are reputedly haunted in Savannah. Since you’ll be taking the tour on foot, you’ll get a more personal glimpse into Savannah’s spooky past.

 

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11. Old Fort Jackson

With construction starting in 1808 and wrapping up in 1812, Old Fort Jackson is the oldest standing brick fort in the state of Georgia. Located on the Savannah River, the fort saw action during the War of 1812 before being designated a National Historic Landmark in more modern times. Contrary to most visitors’ first guess, the fort is not named after Andrew Jackson, but rather James Jackson, a British native who fought for the American cause and rose to the rank of Colonel, and accepted the surrender of the British in Savannah at the close of the revolution.

The fort also saw a great deal of action during the Civil War and served as an operational outpost for both Rebel and Union soldiers after it traded hands following a siege. For a time period from 1884 through 1905, the fort was known as Fort Oglethorpe. The city of Savannah purchased the fort in 1924 but didn’t have it fully restored until the 1970s. Visitors now are offered a chance to take a step back through time to a much more turbulent period of history of the United States.

Old Fort Jackson Savannah
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10. Haunted Pub Tour

Calling all beer-enthusiasts, this tour has your name written all over it! The Creepy Crawl Haunted Pub Tour of Savannah gives you a peek into Savannah’s spooky past while getting a tour of the local pubs.

On the tour, you’ll get a complimentary glow-in-the-dark to-go cup that you can use during the pub-crawl. Your first stop is at Six Pence Pub, here you can fill up your cup, and learn about its spooky past. Along with other pubs, you’ll also make a bonus stop at Colonial park Cemetary.

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9. Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

Initially in Savannah, the colonial charter prevented Roman Catholics from settling in the city. The English government at the time feared that Catholic settlers would be more loyal to the Spanish (and Catholic) authorities in Florida instead of the English government in Georgia. Shortly after the American Revolution, this practice came to a conclusion. French settlers from Haiti were the first Catholics to settle in the area, with the first church opening in 1799.

After the opening of a second church in 1839, construction began on the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in 1873 and finally concluded in 1896 with the addition of the iconic spires on the tops of the church towers. The structure was nearly destroyed at one point in 1898 after a fire ripped through the building. Services are still offered at the church today, and the most recent renovations concluded in the year 2000.

Rolf_52 / Shutterstock.com
Rolf_52 / Shutterstock.com

8. Tybee Beach Pier

When you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a relaxing day by the water take a 28-minute drive to Tybee Island and spend the day at the beach! Here you can lounge by the water, pack a picnic or take a stroll on the Tybee Beach Pier.

Further, there are also many local shops where you can take in the work of local crafters and artisans. You can also grab a drink or a bite from one of the local restaurants.

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7. Bonaventure Cemetery

Perhaps not traditionally the first thing that pops to mind for tourism, a cemetery can seem like an odd destination to visit. However, Bonaventure Cemetery, the largest municipal cemetery in Savannah, covers some 160-acres of land.

This cemetery, in particular, became famous when it was featured in the novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt, and subsequently in the movie directed by Clint Eastwood based on the book. The cover of the book, featuring the Bird Girl sculpture was virtually unknown for some 50 years in the cemetery prior to being featured as the cover art. After rising to fame, the sculpture was donated to Savannah’s Telfair Museum of Art to avoid any potential disturbances at the site. Bonaventure Cemetery is also a great option for travelers on a budget, since there are no admission fees, of course.

Bonaventure Cemetery Savannah
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6. Hop-On and Hop-Off Trolley Tour

Explore Savannah at your pace on the Historic Hop-On and Hop-Off Trolley Tour of Savannah. This tour allows you to make your own itinerary and allows you to spend as much or as little time at each stop.

The trolly makes 15 stops throughout the city so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore Savannah’s Historic District. The trolly comes every 20 minutes or so, so you can hop back on when you’re ready!

Source: Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock.com

5. Forsyth Park

Slightly smaller than the gigantic cemetery mentioned above, Forsyth Park is a large city park that covers some 30-acres of the Savannah Historic District. Inside the park, visitors can find walking paths, a children’s play area, a fragrant garden (a garden specifically designed for the blind), a large fountain, tennis courts, basketball courts, and areas for soccer, frisbee and is even the home of the Savannah Shamrocks Rugby Club.

If that wasn’t enough, the park is also occasionally home to concerts to benefit the public. Originally opened in the 1840s as just 10-acres the park expanded and was named after Georgia Governor John Forsyth. The park also includes a memorial to Confederate volunteers who gave their lives during the Civil War. The park is an important urban feature to Savannah, as it is modeled after the Parisian style of urban planning focused on creating residential areas radiating out from a central green space.

Forsyth Park Savannah
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4. Savannah History Museum

Enjoy a brief introduction into Savannah’s history at the Savanah History Museum. The museum is located in the former historic Central of Georgia Railroad’s passenger station.

Here you will get a glimpse into Savannah’s history from modern-day to dating back to 1733. Learn about Savannah’s culture, music, and artistic contributions through the exciting exhibits. You’ll also get to see the famous bench from Forrest Grump!

Source: EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

3. Pin Point Heritage Museum

In 1985 the A.S. Varn & Son oyster and crab factory in Pin Point closed its doors for good. It served to mark the end for a tiny fishing community on the banks of Moon River, just to the south of Savannah. For just under 100 years, Pin Point was self-sustaining and isolated.

The community was a Gullah/Geechee enclave founded by freedmen where family, religion, and work were deeply connected to the water. The factory today has been converted into the Pin Point Heritage Museum and celebrates the life and work of the Gullah community that lived here. Pin Point Heritage Museum provides guests with an opportunity to learn about the Gullah culture, at the site of a longstanding pillar of the community. Visitors are encouraged to take the guided tour to truly enhance the experience.

Basket Weaving
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2. Historic Savannah Theatre

Located in Chippewa Square, the Historic Savannah Theatre first opened in 1818 and is one of the United States’ oldest continually operating theaters. Because of multiple fires inside the theater, it has served as both a live performance venue and a movie theater.

Since 2002, the venue has been host to a number of regular performances, but primarily musical revues. Not only has the theater been devastated by fire, but it’s also endured some wild weather as well. At one point just before the start of the 20th century, a hurricane-battered Savannah and tore sections of the roof off, and flooded the auditorium. One of the most unexpected guests to ever step foot on the stage of the Historic Savannah Theatre was baseball legend Ty Cobb, who in November of 1911 appeared in a performance called The College Widow.

Photo by: Savannah Theatre
Photo by: Savannah Theatre

1. Savannah Historic District

The Savannah Historic District is a large urban historic district that corresponds roughly to the city limits of Savannah prior to the Civil War. In 1966 the area was declared a National Historic Landmark District and is one of the largest of its kind in the United States.

On average, the Savannah Historic District attracts millions of visitors annually to marvel at its 18th and 19th-century architecture and green spaces. Some sights to see inside the historic district include the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low (the founder of the Girl Scouts of America), the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences, the First African Baptist Church, the Temple Mickve Israel, the Central of Georgia Railway roundhouse complex, the Colonial Cemetery, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and Old Harbor Light. Not only is the district home to a number of sites on this list, but it features a great deal more that will keep visitors entertained throughout their travels.

Savannah Historic District
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Top Things to See and Do in St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine’s primary claim to fame is its status as the oldest colonial settlement in the United States. In 1513, the famed Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon landed on the southeastern coast of the North American mainland. He claimed the land for Spain and named it La Florida, which translates into English as “land of the flowers.” About half a century later, another Spanish voyager, Pedro Menendez de Aviles, founded the city of St. Augustine. The modern-day city traces its heritage back to 1565.

Visitors will find a wealth of treasures to enjoy in St. Augustine, including lots of family-friendly activities for kids. Here are 12 hot suggestions to help kick off your trip planning…

17. Take a Guided Tour

St. Augustine features many reputable tour operators that offer informative, educational, and entertaining guided experiences. Guided tours are a great way to get acquainted with the city, and operators offer themed outings that cover a wide range of subjects. You can take a hop-on hop-off tour that allows you to explore points of interest on your own, as well as history tours that delve deep into the city’s storied past.

After nightfall, you can experience the spooky side of St. Augustine with mystery tours and ghost tours. Research your options and book in advance to optimize convenience.

Source: Bob Pool / Shutterstock.com

16. Explore The City On A Hop-On-Hop-Off Trolley Tour

Speaking of guided tours, the St. Augustine Hop-On-Hop-Off Trolley Tour is a great opportunity to see the city at your own pace. This tour includes 23 stops all of which you can hop on or off whenever you please.

The tour also comes with an informative guide so you can learn about St. Augustine’s history along the way.

Source: Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock.com

15. See The City From Above in a Helicopter Tour

The St. Augustine Fort Matanzas & Old Downtown Helicopter Tour provides you a unique view of St. Augustine, Florida that you won’t get anywhere else.

The tour departs over the Intracoastal waterway to North Beach where you will be able to enjoy a view of 17 miles of stunning coastline. During the tour, you’ll see Vilano Beach, Porpoise Point, Conch Island, Bird Island, San Jose Forest, Mendez Park, St. Augustine Beach and Fort Matanzas. Finally, on your way back to the airport be sure to take in the view of the Old Downtown.

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14. Stroll Down St. George Street

Historic St. George Street runs through the heart of St. Augustine’s Colonial Quarter, and it is an absolute must-see. This pedestrian walkway passes many of the city’s best-preserved historical sites, including its ancient schoolhouse and the Old City Gates. Along the way, you’ll pass dozens of interesting boutiques, inviting cafes, and independent galleries. Prevailing wisdom suggests that you’ll need between two hours and half a day to get your fill of this beautiful section of St. Augustine.

Source: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

13. Check Out The Alligators At The Alligator Farm Zoological Park

If you’re hoping to see some wildlife on your trip to St. Augustine, be sure to check out the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. You’ll not only have the opportunity to check out every crocodilian species but you’ll also be able to check out their wide range of other animals too.

Once you’ve had an opportunity to check out the wildlife you can add more adventure to your day by zip-lining through the zoo! The challenging course will give you a birds-eye view of alligators and crocodiles and you’ll be able to see tropical birds at eye level and red-ruffed lemurs at an arm’s length!

Source: Shutterstock

12. Discover the Lightner Museum

While you’re in the Colonial Quarter, it’s a good idea to check out the nearby Lightner Museum. Rated as one of the city’s most unique attractions, the Lightner Museum features an unusual collection of 19th-century art. Some of the strange things you’ll encounter include old-school cigar packaging, a collection of shriveled heads, and bundles of human hair. If weirdness isn’t your cup of tea, there’s also plenty of conventional artworks for you to enjoy. The museum is housed in a former hotel that was built in the 19th century, and its beautiful architecture is also a major draw in its own right.

Source: Shutterstock

11. Head for the Lighthouse

The St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum is widely considered another auto-include on visitor itineraries. Built between 1871 and 1874, the lighthouse is the oldest brick building in the city that still stands today, and urban legends claim the site is haunted by several spirits. Visitors rave about heading to the top for a soaring view of the city and surrounding coastline, but be prepared to work for your reward as you’ll need to climb 219 steps to reach the summit.

While you’re in the neighborhood, it’s also worth checking out the Maritime Museum. Both the lighthouse and the museum are open year-round, with the only closures falling on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Source: Shutterstock

10. Hit the Beach

St. Augustine Beach is located about five miles outside the city’s Colonial Quarter, and it’s a big hit with families. The beach features a kid-friendly splash pad, along with approximately two miles of pristine white sand and warm, crystal-clear waters. It’s rarely crowded, and the north end of the beach is crowned with the St. Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier. This is a great place for angling enthusiasts to cast a line and try their luck.

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9. Visit the Old Jail

Another supposedly haunted historic location, St. Augustine’s Old Jail was completed in the early 1890s and now serves as a fascinating tourist attraction. Designed to match the city’s existing architecture, the Old Jail is a surprisingly appealing Romanesque Revival building. It remained in active use as an incarceration facility until 1953 before opening to the public the following year.

Guided tours are available and highly recommended, with staff dressing up in authentic period garb and leading visitors on an informative and eye-opening experience.

Photo by: Visit Augustine

8. Hunt for Pirate Treasure

St. Augustine and the Florida coast are rich in pirate lore, and it is perfectly captured at the popular St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum. A convincing character named Captain Mayhem greets visitors at the door, offering free guided tours. One of the tour’s main highlights is a replica pirate ship, which guests are free to explore. As you might imagine, this opportunity is a big hit with kids.

Some of the historical treasures housed in the museum include America’s oldest surviving “Wanted” poster and an authentic skull-and-crossbones “Jolly Roger” flag that dates to the 1600s. The museum isn’t overly large and can be fully explored in just a couple of hours. Yarrrr!

Photo by: St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum Facebook

7. Seek the Fountain of Youth

Florida’s discoverer, Juan Ponce de Leon, is also famous for his efforts to find the fabled Fountain of Youth, a legendary pond whose waters supposedly stopped the natural aging process. According to some, he succeeded in his efforts, and the magical spring is said to be located in Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archeological Park.

In addition to its namesake spring, the Fountain of Youth Archeological Park also houses an old-style blacksmith’s studio, a replica Native American village, and a planetarium. Several dozen peacocks also roam the grounds, putting on a show with their dazzling feather displays.

Ovidiu Hrubaru / Shutterstock.com

6. Explore the St. Augustine Distillery

The St. Augustine Distillery is a locally owned and managed distillery that is famous for artisanal spirits. The distillery is conveniently located downtown St. Augustine in a stunning restored ice plant.

Check out the St. Augustine Distillery for yourself! The tours are free and are offered 7 days a week. During the tour, you’ll learn about their award-winning bourbon whiskey, vodka, gin, and rum and you can even have a taste for yourself (if you’re of legal drinking age, of course).

Source: Angela N Perryman / Shutterstock.com

5. Explore Exotic Wildlife at the St. Augustine Wild Reserve

This isn’t your average run-of-the-mill zoo. The St. Augustine Wild Reserve was founded in 1995 to serve as an animal sanctuary, and the nonprofit organization that operates it is committed to rescuing exotic animals from life-threatening situations.

Some of the fantastic beasts you’ll find within include bears, leopards, mountain lions, and tigers. You can also see a lion that was once owned by pop star Michael Jackson. However, be sure to book your visit online before you head there, as reservations are required.

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4. Head to Castillo de San Marcos

Castillo de San Marcos is America’s oldest surviving brick military fortification. Built by Spanish settlers in the latter decades of the 17th century, the fort served to safeguard St. Augustine from pirate invasions and attacks by the British, who were seeking to strengthen their foothold in North America at the time.

Britain, of course, eventually took control of the modern-day United States, and they went on to use the fort as a base for military operations during the American Revolutionary War. About a century later, the Confederates also used Castillo de San Marcos as a base of operations during the American Civil War. The site has enjoyed National Monument status since 1900.

Source: Shutterstock

3. Ferry to Fort Matanzas

Fort Matanzas is one of America’s most unique National Monuments. It is built completely out of concrete and seashells, and the site commemorates the spot of a major battle fought between Spanish and French colonial powers, who were vying for supremacy during the early years of North American settlement.

The fort itself dates to 1740 and rests in the midst of a 100-acre plot of marshy barrier islands that dot the Matanzas River. Left to decay for many years, Fort Matanzas was carefully restored by the United States Department of War between 1916 and 1924. Today, it is accessible only by ferry, but the trip is well worth it, particularly for history buffs. It can easily be paired with a visit to Castillo de San Marcos, which is its companion monument.

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2. Check out Fort Mose Historic State Park

Fort Mose Historic State Park brings local history to life in unique ways. During colonial times, Fort Mose served as St. Augustine’s northernmost military fortification. As slavery spread throughout the developing American South, it also became an important junction on the famous Underground Railroad escape route.

Founded in 1738, Fort Mose also evolved to become the first free African settlement in the modern-day United States. The Fort Mose Historical Society occasionally stages reenactments in the park, and visitors can enjoy picnics and kayaking all year round.

Photo by: Visit St. Augustine

1. Enjoy A Sunset Cruise

After spending the day exploring the city unwind with a relaxing Sunset Cruise with Florida Water Tours. The adult-only tour is reserved for passengers who are 21 years old and over which ensures you’ll have a relaxing adult atmosphere.

Onboard you can purchase from a great selection of beer, wine, and other non-alcoholic drinks. While you taking in the breathtaking sunset view you’ll also pass many landmarks such as the Bridge of Lions, St. Augustine Lighthouse and more.

Source: Shutterstock

The Top Things to See and Do in Charleston, South Carolina

Founded as Charles Town in 1670 in honor of England’s King Charles II, Charleston was one of the most important cities in the United States during its early history and colonial era. Today, it is known for its rich and fascinating historical heritage, welcoming locals, fantastic beaches, and beautiful architectural treasures. Charleston has won a long list of accolades from major travel publications as an American must-see gem. Travel + Leisure magazine rated it as the “World’s Best City” in 2016, and Charleston has also earned high praise and accolades from periodicals including Southern Living and Condé Nast Traveler in recent years.

There are tons of amazing things to see and do in Charleston, and these 20 suggestions are great starting points for first-time visitors:

20. Cruise Around Morris Island Lighthouse By Boat

Charleston is a wonderful city but when you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle take a boat cruise to Morris Island. The quaint uninhabited island is only accessible by boat so set sail on the Morris Island Lighthouse Eco Cruise to do some exploring.

The cruise sets sail from Bowens Island and will make its way to Morris Island. Along the way, you may even see marine life such as bottlenose dolphins and sea turtles. Once you make your way onto the island you can explore at your own pace, search for seashells, check out the historic Morris Island Lighthouse, and take in the breathtaking view.

Source: Shutterstock

19. Check Out Charleston’s First Distillery Since Prohibition

High Wire is Charleston’s first distillery since prohibition and would be an excellent site to see during your visit. Conveniently located in downtown Charleston, you can head to High Wire for a tour and tasting Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm.

The tours will provide insight into how the distilling process works as well as a glimpse into the mechanics of a small distillery. Keep in mind, guests must be 18 and older to enter the tasting room and guests must be 21 and older (with valid ID) to taste.

Source: High Wire Distilling

18. Go On A Culinary Walking Food Tour

Why waste time researching where to eat when you can hit all the hottest spots on the Downtown Charleston culinary walking food tour! This culinary walking tour will give you a taste of some of Charleston’s best locally run restaurants.

As a bonus, you’ll get to learn about the history of the city along the way. Be sure to skip your lunch because these food samples are going to fill you up!

Source: Shutterstock

17. Explore The City On A Sightseeing Bus Tour

Kick back and relax on the Charleston See-It-All Sightseeing Bus Tour! The comfortable climate-controlled ride allows you to see the city in a whole new way. Plus the minibusses only sit 15 passengers which means you’ll get an intimate experience.

Touring on a bus instead of on foot allows you to see more in a single outing. Additionally, the bus tours feature 5 departure times so you find a time that works best for you and your schedule.

Source: Shutterstock

16. Ghost of Charleston Walking Tour

Looking for a spooky adventure? Enjoy an eerie night tour on the Ghost of Charleston Walking Tour!

A guide will lead you through the dark to explore the spooky tales and locations of Charleston. Among other stops, the tour also gains you after-hour access to a paranormal hot spot, the Unitarian Church Graveyard.

Source: Shutterstock

15. Go Dancing At The Commodore Music Club

The Commodore is a great place to go to if you’re looking for live entertainment and to go dancing. As soon as you walk into the music club you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a vintage jazz club.

The bar features preserved vintage brass and green velvet bar stools, a glossy black tiled floor, chandeliers, and velvet curtains that surround the stage. Whether you’re looking to hit the dance floor or simply looking for a place to grab a drink, a night out at The Commodore will be a night to remember. Just make sure you’re of legal drinking age!

Source: The Commodore

14. Enjoy A Sunset Sail On Charleston Harbor

There’s no better way to watch a sunset than out at sea. The Schooner Sunset Sail on Charleston Harbor excursion features a 2-hour cruise on a quaint sailboat.

The cruise’s maximum capacity is 15 passengers creating an intimate experience for everyone. During the cruise, the captain and crew will point out historical sites along the way. Also, feel free to bring a picnic or snack but forget the drinks because you can purchase beverages aboard.

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13. Visit The Otters At The South Carolina Aquarium

The South Carolina Aquarium would be a great interactive experience for you and your family. Here you can check out the 6,000-gallon stingray tank, touch and feel several species in the touch tanks and learn about many animals native to South Carolina.

Also, don’t miss your chance to see the river otters at the South Carolina Aquarium! This is a great opportunity considering it’s very rare to spot them in the wild.

Source: South Carolina Aquarium

12. Explore the French Quarter

Art galleries, boutiques, historic churches, and several of the city’s architectural landmarks are clustered in the French Quarter, which is bounded by Market Street to the north, Meeting Street to the west, Broad Street to the south, and Waterfront Park to the east.

While many architectural and history walking tours will highlight this part of the city, it’s well worth exploring in more detail, particularly if you have a strong interest in Charleston’s rich and storied heritage.

Source: Shutterstock

11. Check out Charleston City Market

While Charleston City Market is characterized by some as a touristy cliché, it’s one of the best places in the city to experience the contemporary character of traditional Old South life. Formerly known as the Slave Market, as slaves would be sent here by their masters to buy food for their households in centuries past, Charleston City Market is an ideal place to go people-watching and find some authentic handicrafts.

One recommended option is to seek out the market’s so-called basket ladies, who perform a time-honored type of traditional basket weaving that was originally practiced in West Africa. Practitioners hand-make beautiful baskets from materials like palmetto leaves and sweetgrass, with the craft’s secrets being carefully passed down from generation to generation.

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10. Hit the Beach

Folly Beach is the most popular of the city’s beaches, which offer a welcome respite of lounging and relaxation after a few busy days of sightseeing. Charleston has a humid subtropical climate, which extends beach season beyond the summer months into the late spring and early fall.

Folly Beach is about 12 miles outside of downtown Charleston, and setting it aside as a day trip during your stay in the area is usually the way to go. Interestingly, Folly Beach is where George & Ira Gershwin wrote their famous opera Porgy and Bess during the summer of 1934.

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9. Discover the City’s Museums

Beyond Fort Sumter National Monument, Charleston has many other museums that are sure to interest curious visitors and history buffs. The Aiken-Rhett House Museum offers a one-of-a-kind glimpse into life during the antebellum age, while the Nathaniel Russell House Museum is an architectural masterpiece with a stunning spiral staircase. Charleston Museum, Heyward-Washington House, Confederate Museum, and the Old Slave Mart Museum are other popular options to consider.

All in all, Charleston is home to dozens of museums, so if you’re particularly keen on the city’s history, it’s best to do some research before you arrive so you can learn more about the things that interest you most.

James Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com

8. Cruise to Sullivan’s Island

Speaking of island ferries, you should also make room in your itinerary for Sullivan’s Island. A relatively compact 3.3 square miles, Sullivan’s Island is one of those often-overlooked hidden gems that vacationers rave about after visiting.

The island is home to a charming and welcoming town, which is brimming with beachfront eateries and one-of-a-kind boutiques. A popular option is to plan your day around having lunch on Sullivan’s Island and giving yourself an hour to explore the shops before heading back to the mainland.

Photo by: Sinopse Stylist

7. Brush Up on Your Civil War History at Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter National Monument is forever enshrined in American history books as the place where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Cannons that were used in the war are still nestled into the fort’s cave network, which is located on an island in Charleston Harbor.

Regular ferry service is available to transport you to Fort Sumter, and once you’re there, it’s also recommended that you spend some time exploring the island’s small but worthwhile museum to learn more about the long list of fascinating treasures still housed there.

Source: Shutterstock

6. Lose Yourself in Beautiful Gardens

Charleston and the surrounding area are home to some of the best-preserved plantations and gardens in the American South. Middleton Place, constructed in 1755, remains one of the city’s most enduring attractions, but there are several others that are definitely not to be missed.

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens has spectacular, postcard-worthy scenery, and charming Drayton Hall, which dates to 1738, is one of the oldest intact plantations still standing in the United States.

meunierd / Shutterstock.com

5. Stroll Along The Battery

Ask a Charleston local, and chances are they’ll tell you there’s no way you can leave the city before you’ve visited The Battery. Once the center of the city’s maritime economy, The Battery is now lined with a stunning collection of charming and colorful Southern mansions. As you make your way through this picturesque and unique neighborhood, it’s worth making a stop in White Point Gardens, which is located close by and contains several interesting Civil War artifacts and memorials.

A visit to The Battery is a perfect companion activity to Waterfront Park, as the park doubles as an entry point to the neighborhood.

Source: Shutterstock

4. Relax in Waterfront Park

Located along the banks of the Cooper River, Waterfront Park is a relative newcomer to the Charleston tourism scene, having been completed in 1990. Its shady trees and breathtaking landscaping make it the ideal place to relax and enjoy some quiet time, and it’s a popular place with the locals as well.

Pack a picnic or bring along a good book—chances are good you’ll want to stay here for a while.

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3. Take a Carriage Ride

Carriage rides offer yet another tour option. Like the city’s walking tours and boat tours, carriage rides also dedicate themselves to specific sections and quarters of the city’s historic center.

Popular options explore the city’s residential architecture, downtown core, and historic areas. As with the walking tours, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. However, these horse-drawn carriage rides add an undeniable mystique to your experience, bringing the classic elegance of the South to life like nothing else.

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2. Head to Charleston Harbor

Charleston is also home to a robust selection of boat tours, most of which embark from historic Charleston Harbor. These tours explore the city’s fascinating maritime history, all while cruising past many of the city’s most iconic landmarks. On many tours, the boat’s captain doubles as your tour guide, creating a truly unique experience.

Also, keep your eyes peeled during your boat tour, as dolphins are known to frequent the waters around Charleston. You might just catch a glimpse of one!

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1. Take a Walking Tour

Tour operators offer dozens of choices to visitors, so it’s best to consider your options in terms of what you’d like to see and learn about. We mentioned a few great options earlier but there are many other tours to choose from.

Some walking tours are dedicated to the city’s fascinating Civil War history, while others highlight its architectural gems. Other possibilities include church tours that delve deep into its religious history — there really is something for everyone!

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10 Best Flight Deals To Disneyland

The time has come to finally take your family to the one and only Disneyland. It’s not the crowds (and lines) that scare you – it’s what it costs to fly there! To help relieve some stress and help you get the most bang for your buck, below are 10 easy ways to track down the best flight deals to Disneyland.

Set Up Flight Alerts

If you know when you want to fly to Disneyland, you can set up flight alerts weeks or months ahead of time to let you know when a good deal becomes available so you can snatch it right away. You can either set up an alert for Disneyland itself or Anaheim, California (where Disneyland is located).

Below are some sites that allow you to set up flight alerts:

Explore Nearby Airports

There are three main airports near Disneyland: Long Beach (LGB), John Wayne Orange County (SNA), and LAX. To increase your chances of finding a great flight deal, it’s worth setting up alerts for all three of these airports.

It’s also worth considering each airport’s distance from the Disneyland, with SNA being the closest, LGB being slightly farther away, and LAX being the farthest away.

Take Advantage of Flight + Hotel Packages

Naturally, you and your family are going to need a place to stay. Fortunately, many companies offer discounted vacation packages with both flight and hotel stay included.

For example, a quick search on Expedia shows flight and hotel packages in May for four nights starting as low as $890 USD/person.

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Fly During Non-Peak Seasons

During peak season, flight prices and crowd sizes tend to be at their worst. For Disneyland, peak season is usually the summer, with the worst month to go being June. To help you save money on flights and avoid hours standing in line for rides, try to plan your trip for September, November, or May (due to school not being let out yet).

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Fly During Non-Peak Weekdays

Other than taking advantage of the off-peak season, flying on certain days of the week can be another way to capitalize on flight deals. Compared to other days of the week, it’s often cheaper to fly mid-week, specifically on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and sometimes Saturdays as well.

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Avoid Last-Minute Trips

The stress of trying to coordinate a last-minute family trip to Disneyland alone is enough to overwhelm just about anyone. When you throw in how much extra you’ll pay for booking your flights last minute, forget about it…

Aside from keeping you from pulling your hair out, planning your trip ahead of time is almost guaranteed to result in you paying less for your flights.

Take Advantage of Layovers

This might only be for more adventurous families, but it is possible to hit up Disneyland and experience its main attractions during a layover.

If you’re able to plan your flight to somewhere else to include a full-day (or multi-day) layover in one of the three airports close to Disneyland (the farthest being less than an hour away), you could theoretically drop your bags off at the airport, zip over to Disneyland, take in the sights and attractions, zip back to the airport, and continue on the rest of your journey.

As a cherry on top, long layovers also tend to result in cheaper flight tickets.

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Look for Disney-Partnered Airlines

Many major airlines partner with Disney to offer unique flight and hotel deals. While they aren’t always the cheapest, these flights usually include beyond-regular service and amenities. The hotels are also usually held to a higher and more-strict set of standards. These deals are great for families who want everything taken care of beforehand.

Airlines that offer these deals include:

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Use a Traveler Card

Having a travel credit card can not only make your trip more affordable, but it can also provide perks to make your family’s trip more enjoyable and points to help you recover from big purchases on vacation.

For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card provides the following perks:

  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 USD toward travel.

Avoid Paying Extra Amenities

The smaller you and your family can pack, the cheaper your flights will be. When possible, have your family fit everything in their carry-ons. Or, if you can’t help but pack big, choose airlines that don’t charge baggage fees.

If you don’t mind sacrificing things like sitting beside each other, you can also avoid extra fees by opting out of things like pre-departure seat selection.

While they’re not guaranteed to provide flights to Disneyland or any surrounding areas, Airlines that offer cheaper tickets in exchange for more bare-bones service include:

Armed with the tips above, you can make your next trip to Disneyland with your family as enjoyable and guilt-free as possible.

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Horseback Riding in the U.S: 10 Best Trails

Grab your lasso because it’s time to head out on the trail, American cowboy style. From the giant canyons of Arizona and Utah to the rolling hills and meadows of Vermont and Northern California, witness the diverse countryside and mountain ranges of the US on 10 of the most popular horseback riding trails. As day turns to evening on the horizon, saddle up and ride out into the sunset like an old-fashioned cowboy from the Wild West.

10. Arizona

Like John Wayne and Burt Lancaster, the heroes of your favorite Westerns, saddle up and head out into the sunset on a sturdy, reliable quarter horse for a gallop into the Wild West. With expert horse handlers as your guide, get ready for an unforgettable ride into the Canyon de Chelly of Arizona, the largest sandstone canyon in the US. Crossing over bubbling streams and past small forests and olive trees along the trail, you’ll reach Spider Rock, an 800-foot sandstone spire that will make you feel like a dwarf. Riders of all levels can gear up at Totsonii Ranch, a Navajo-themed horseback-riding outfit headed by top Western-style horse experts. With decades of experience in horse handling and knowledge of the canyon trails, you’ll be in good hands while you explore the dramatic canyons of Arizona.

9. Vermont

At the Icelandic Horse Farm in Waitsfield, Vermont, you’ll get the chance to ride an Icelandic Horse, a breed known for its sturdiness, stable footing, and pleasant temperament. That way, even the novice rider can relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Mad River Valley, an ideal spot for countryside gallops. A popular spot for winter sports and mountain trekking, the valley is as peaceful or thrilling as you want it. On horseback, you can gallop through the grassy meadow or walk through the picturesque landscape of the Green Mountains. The horse farm is open year-round, so you have the option of experiencing the fresh greenery of springtime, the warm lazy days of summer, or the brilliant foliage and crisp air of autumn. After a day of trail riding, head to their Mad River Inn, an 1860s era Victorian estate situated at the horse farm.

8. Utah

Head to Utah for an exploration of the jagged rock spires and otherworldly rock formations of Bryce Canyon National Park, a favorite spot for cross-country horseback riding adventures. Follow expert cowboy guides as they take you through canyons that have evolved over thousands of years. In this rugged terrain, let the sure-footed, hardworking quarter horse do all the work while you discover the fascinating natural wonders of Utah. Using Bryce Canyon Lodge as your base, the trail starts at Sunrise Point and leads into the vast canyon on a 2-hour ride. While a cowboy leads the way, you’ll get the lowdown on the history and geology of this magnificent canyon. Once you reach the floor of the canyon, the trail loops around to take you back up the rim for unforgettable views of Bristle Cone Pines Trees and the haunting Wall of Windows.

7. Alaska

For even more rugged and exotic trail rides, head to Seward, Alaska, where local guides from Bardy’s Trail Rides will take you on treks through forests and rivers surrounded by snow-capped peaks that fill the horizon. You’ll even get the chance to gallop along a rocky deserted Alaskan beach. Considered to be one of Alaska’s wild frontiers, get lost in a world of pristine fresh air, the cleanest water in the country, and a variety of wildlife like nesting bald eagles and migrating whale sightings. You’ll also discover the old town of Seward that took quite a beating in the great earthquake of 1964. Then, the trail leads to the shore of the bay lined with wildflowers, a lovely setting for a seaside stroll on horseback. Because of the rough terrain, this region of Alaska is only accessible by horseback, making Seward a perfect spot for an afternoon trail ride.

6. North Carolina

With 80 miles of equestrian trails that wind through ancient woodlands of the Appalachians, Asheville, North Carolina is a horseback-riding wonderland filled with afternoon trail rides through some of the country’s most breathtaking landscapes. Along the way, trail guides will take you on a tour of the Biltmore’s magnificent 250-room French Renaissance-style chateau, a rare architectural marvel situated in the heart of the Appalachian countryside. Even better, splurge on one of their luxury suites at the Biltmore Estate, a grand, swanky base camp for rest and relaxation in between glorious days of cross-country mountain trail rides. For the more serious equestrian, head to the nearby Equestrian Center for a special riding excursion to the West Range, a section of the Appalachians known for its mountain vistas, waterfalls, and beautiful rivers.

5. Colorado

Saddle up on a reliable, smooth-gaited horse and head out into the mountains of the San Juan National Forest just outside of the Old West town of Durango, Colorado. A favorite trail ride in the region gives riders a chance to explore the sub-alpine forest that winds through mountain paths carpeted with wildflowers. Then, the trail leads to a spot high above the timberline where you can witness the vast horizon all the way to New Mexico. For the more experienced rider, a five-hour trek to the Hermosa Cliffs is a spectacular trail that leads to elevated parks, old-growth Alpine forests, and incredible vistas of nearby Needles, La Plata mountain range, and Electra Lake. The ride starts at Elbert Creek and ascends 1,000 feet in elevation, making you feel on top of the world.

4. California

Follow in the tradition of 19th century Native Americans and pioneering ranchers who lived in the fertile countryside of Napa Valley, California. Saddle up at Triple Creek Horse Outfit and let experienced trail guides take you through the lovely golden meadows and past lush vineyards of Northern California wine country. One of the most thrilling trails is the one leading to the summit of Bald Mountain where on a clear day, you can see San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge in a breathtaking panorama. The area also has horse riding trails throughout Jack London State Historic Park in Sonoma’s famed Valley of the Moon. With some of the finest riding trails in the world, brace yourself for an incredible ride through massive redwoods, oak woodlands, and the rolling hills of vast vineyards.

3. Kentucky

With its world-famous Kentucky Derby and long tradition of horse breeding and training, Kentucky is a great place to discover the Bluegrass Region near Lexington. At Big Red Stables in Harrodsburg, Derby fans and serious equestrians can saddle up on a revered Tennessee walking horse, a breed known for its unique four-beat running walk, one of the smoothest gaits, as well as its calm disposition and elegant appearance. At this family farm, a one hour drive from Lexington, get ready to explore the trails passing through verdant, expansive grasslands, surrounding forests, and fertile horse country dotted with old-fashioned red barns and stables. There are also excellent riding trails in Kentucky’s Appalachians, including the Mary Ingle Trail system in Yatesville Lake State Park, which surrounds a 2,300-acre mountain reservoir and contains 20 miles of scenic trails.

2. Arkansas

Surrounded by three lakes, two rivers, and old-growth pine forests, Buffalo River National Park in Eureka Springs, Arkansas is full of scenic trails perfect for an afternoon ride through the countryside. Before heading out on the trail, saddle up with horse ranchers at Rockin Z Ranch, a horse stable and inn nestled in the heart of the Northwest Ozark Mountains. The ranch offers visitors comfortable accommodations and warm hospitality at their large log cabins plus guided trail rides through 780-acres of wooded hills. They also have ranch-raised horses, which are ideal for beginners because of their obedient and calm demeanor. Also close by is Withrow Springs State Park, also in the Ozarks, an incredible place to explore the great natural wonders of Arkansas on horseback. And if you really want to up the ante on childhood fantasies, sleep in a tree house floating atop tree canopies at Treehouse Cottages.

1. Hawaii

From the Big Island of Hawaii, head to Na’alapa Stables for a horseback riding adventure through the lush, verdant landscape of Kahua Ranch, a working cattle and sheep ranch with 12,000 acres perfect for open-range riding against the breathtaking backdrop of North Kohala. The nearby Waipi’o Valley also has excellent trails through lush tropical rainforests, pristine freshwater streams, and magnificent waterfalls. The stables also provide riders with well-trained and sturdy-footed Waipi’o breed Hawaiin horses, so riders of any level can enjoy the spectacular scenery with ease and comfort. Meaning “land of curving water,” Waipi’o Valley is an enchanting emerald landscape that rivals the paradise of Eden. In Hawaii, horse lovers have the chance of a lifetime to combine their love of riding with amazing natural wonders of the Big Island.

Best Things To Do In New York That Only Locals Know About

There many things to see on your trip to New York City. From the Statue of Liberty to Time Square and many amazing museums, there is something for every type of traveler. Part of the New York experience is experiencing the hustle and bustle of the city but the crowded tourist spots can get old fast and, not to mention can be quite overwhelming.

While there are many must-see tourist destinations, did you know there are many hidden treasures across the city too? Not acting like a local is just one of the common mistakes most tourists make in New York City. So be sure to make the best of your trip and explore New York like a local, escape the overwhelming crowds, and discover the hidden gems that only the locals know about!

1. Visit The High Line

The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long linear park located on the west side of Manhattan, NYC. What makes this park unique is that it sits atop a former New York Central Railroad. The railroad was active until 1980, however, this unique park wasn’t created until 2009.

While this may not be one of the most secret destinations, it’s definitely worth checking off your list. In this park, you will see lots of greenery as well as beautiful art installations and not to mention the breathtaking view of the New York skyline.

Source: Michael Urmann / Shutterstock.com

2. Take a Break From The City At Rockaway Beach

When a break is needed from the busy city, locals make their way to Rockaway Beach. Here you can unwind, relax, and soak up that much-needed vitamin D. This sandy beach also has a 5.5-mile boardwalk so you can lounge by the water or take a stroll, your choice.

A local secret is to visit during the week as the weekends can become overcrowded. While it is a 24-mile ride to the beach from Time Square, the beach is accessible by subway.

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3. Explore The Museum Of The Moving Image

The Museum of the Moving Image is a media museum located in Queens, New York City. This one of a kind museum is the only museum in the country that is dedicated to the history, art, technique, and technology of filmmaking, television, and all things digital media.

Travelers of all ages will love this destination because there is a lot of history to learn but there is also an interactive portion you’ll enjoy too. Some of these include playing old video games or creating your own stop-motion animation. A secret tip, if you visit between 4 and 8 pm on any Friday (excluding certain holidays), you can gain admission for free!

4. Take A Ferry To Governors Island

Nestled in the New York Harbor is a 172-acre island called Governors Island. You can spend the day here and all it will cost you is a round trip ferry ride for just 3 dollars. Keep in mind the Island is only open from May 1 through October 31.

There are many activities to keep you busy on the Island, between hiking, zip-lining, mini-golf, and more. Additionally, you can sight-see on foot or make it easier by renting a bike. There is also plenty of food stands on the Island too which means you won’t go hungry!

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5. Visit The Waterfall In Greenacre Park

Located on East 51st Street, between second and third Avenue is Greenacre Park. The park is hidden in the Turtle Bay neighborhood of Manhattan, New York, and it features this stunning waterfall. Be sure to head here if you’re seeking relief from the hustle and bustle of the city.

This waterfall is mostly only known by the locals but is certainly worth a visit. Here you can relax and unwind from the busy city and grab a treat from a refreshment stand.

6. Take In The View At The One World Observatory

The One World Observatory is located on floors 100 through 102 of the One World Trade Center. While this seems like a sky-high treck, the observation deck can be reached in just 47 seconds. This is because you’ll take a sky pod elevator. This is another not-so-secret destination but is definitely worth the visit.

On your ride up, you’ll be able to watch the floor-to-ceiling screen that displays a video explaining the history of the city and the building. As you reach the top, the screen will lift and expose a breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline. Take in the view, visit the gift shop, step on the 14-foot wide glass floor, and grab a bite at ONE Dine.

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7. Learn The Stories Of The Central Park Benches

Many people plan a trip to Central Park during their stay in New York City, but what most people don’t realize is that there is more to see in that beautiful park. Nestled among the rows of benches are little plaques that display quotes. These are definitely worth a read as each bench has its own story.

The plaques are often in memory of a loved one or tell a love story of sorts. You too can have your own plaque on a Central Park bench if you’re willing to pay about $10, 000! Or you can take a trip to the park and appreciate the ones that are already there.

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8. Catch A Show In The Theater District

Locals and tourists alike head to the theater district to catch live outdoor entertainment as well as a show at one of NYC’s 40 Broadway theaters. The vast theater district spans approximately between 6th Ave to 8th Ave and 41st Street to 52nd Street.

Outside under the bright lights, you’ll often see costumed characters entertaining crowds but you can also line up to buy a ticket to see one of the compelling shows. Each season brings new musicals and there is always something for everyone.

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9. Tour The Rooftop Farm At Brooklyn Grange

When you think about traveling to New York City, farming doesn’t exactly come to mind. However, locals know too well about the working farm located on the roof of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. This rooftop farm is called Brookly Grange.

You can book a tour to see and learn about the farm as well as take in the skyline view. Additionally, the farm offers yoga classes on Monday evenings from June through September but be sure to book your class ahead of time as they fill up quickly!

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10. Relax At Fort Tryon Park

Central Park may be one of the most popular parks in NYC, especially for tourists, however, there are other parks hidden in the city too. If you want to escape the overwhelming groups of tourists as well as take in a greenery landscape then be sure to head to Fort Tryon Park.

Fort Tryon Park is hidden in Manhattan, NYC and boasts a stunning green space that will have you forgetting you’re in NYC in the first place. Some of the best views can be seen on a walk to Linden Terrace which is the highest point in Fort Tryon Park. Finally, finish your tour with a visit to The Cloisters museum which we’ll talk about later.

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11. Check Out The Abandoned Subway Stop

The City Hall Subway station was the original southern terminal station for the New York City Subway which opened in 1904. What made the City Hall station unique from the rest of the subway line was it was built with tall tile arches, chandeliers, skylights, brass fixtures, and many other elegant details.

While the track is technically still active, trains no longer stop at this station making it an abandoned subway stop and a must-see hidden gem. To explore the station you have to take a tour with the New York Transit Museum, however, to gain access you need to be a member of the museum and pass a security clearance. This is part of the reason why this isn’t an overcrowded tourist destination but nonetheless would be an amazing experience if you’re able to gain access to the facility.

Resource: Felix Lipov / Shutterstock.com

12. Visit The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, also known as the Met, isn’t technically a hidden tourist destination but it is definitely a must-see museum while visiting New York. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by the stunning Neoclassical architecture, but behind the doors lie 5,000 years of art from around the world.

There is something for everyone to enjoy from ancient Egyptian artifacts to modern photography. There is so much to see that you can easily spend an entire day here and still may only see a fraction of what it has to offer. Additionally, if you do plan a full day visit, the museum does have a cafeteria as well as several restaurants so you can refuel throughout the day.

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13. Visit The Cloisters

Alternatively, if you’d like to visit a less touristy place than the Metropolitan Museum of Art, be sure to check out The Cloisters. The museum, located in Fort Tryon Park, is full of medieval Europe architecture, sculpture, and art.

As you tour the museum you’ll be able to see many amazing artifacts from the Romanesque and Gothic periods but the building itself is worth noticing too. Built from European monasteries, the design and brickwork are simply breathtaking. The architecture is unlike the rest of the city that you may even forget that you’re in New York City in the first place.

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14. Ride The Aerial Tram

The locals consider Roosevelt Island as one of the city’s best-hidden gems. Located in the East River between Manhattan and Queens are quaint streets, parks, and gardens and because it’s mainly a residential area, not many tourists visit here. However, A visit to Roosevelt Island is certainly worth it especially to ride the aerial tram.

While the aerial tram transports passengers between Manhattan and the island, it’s a great opportunity to see a breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline. Plus its incredibly budget-friendly too as the aerial tram uses the same price as the New York subway or bus fare which is currently about $2.75 per person.

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15. Visit The 9/11 Memorial And Museum

The 9/11 Memorial and museum may not be a hidden destination but it certainly worth the visit. The memorial, a footprint of where the Twin Towers once stood is also North America’s largest man-made waterfall. The architect behind the design, Michael Arad, said the pools represent “absence made visible”. Water flows into the void, but the void can never be filled.

Each pool is one acre in size. The edges are lined with bronze walls that are inscribed with the names of the 2,983 people who perished in the 2001 and 1993 attacks. Additionally, you can visit the museum to pay your respects as well as to learn more about the horrible tragedy.

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16. Grab A Book At The Strand

The Strand isn’t any ordinary book store, it houses over 23 miles of books. It’s located at 828 Broadway, the corner of East 12th Street in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan.

Even if you don’t love reading, The Strand is worth the visit even if it’s just to see the multi-level store of mile-high books. The store’s collection ranges from bestsellers to first editions, and everything in between.

Resources: Joseph Perone / Shutterstock.com

17. Explore Snug Harbor

If a ferry ride to Staten Island wasn’t already on your agenda, you may want to add it now! On the island sits Snug Harbor, a former home for retired sailors.

This location is a hidden gem as many people don’t know about it but the locals certainly do. What makes this a must-see destination is that the site spreads across 83 acres of land and features a cultural center, a large botanical garden and is surrounded by quaint cobblestone streets as well as Victorian and Tudor homes. During your visit make sure you don’t miss out on a tour of the Chinese Scholar’s Garden.

Resource: Shane Pasuthip / Shutterstock.com

18. Catch Local Entertainment In Joe’s Pub At The Public Theater

Head to Joe’s Pub, located at The Public Theater to grab some drinks, dinner, and enjoy a live act. Joe’s pub is an independent, non-profit music venue that is committed to supporting artists of all levels.

Some nights, you can watch a comedy act while other nights feature dancers and musicians. Regardless of what type of show you get to see, it will be a great experience and opportunity to dive into the creative culture of New York as well as a great way to meet the locals.

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19. Take In The Architecture At Grand Central Terminal

The locals may not be the only ones who know about the Grand Central Terminal, but it’s certainly a place worth visiting. After all, many locals use this station as a transportation hub.

Aside from having the opportunity to meet the locals, you’ll also be able to take in the breathtaking architecture. You can even try out the whispering gallery which is located just outside the Oyster Bar.

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20. Indulge In Delicious Food At Smorgasburg

Every fellow foodie needs to take a trip to Smorgasburg, a food cart fair. The fair is located along the East River in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The venders are stretched across a parking lot and park and offer a variety of delicious food from 100 local vendors. You’ll be able to dig into tasty food from a variety of cultures such as Chinese, German, American, Cuban, and many other cultures too. If you love all things food, a trip to Smorgasburg is a definite must-see.

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Interesting Facts About The United States

The United States of America, the land of the free consists of 50 states. Over 327 million people reside in America making it the third most populous country in the world. The US is also the fourth largest country in the world by total area. This vast country is well known across the world and has a cultural imprint that is driven by technological innovation, popular movies, television, and music. Discover all the amazing and interesting things America has to offer with these 20 interesting facts.

1. America Is Home To Many Natural Wonders

America is home to many natural wonders of the world. In fact, the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has recognized many heritage sites in America. According to UNESCO, a world heritage site is a place of special cultural or physical significance.

Some examples of the UNESCO world heritage sites in America are the Grand Canyon National Park, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and a few others. Check out the full list of Natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the USA.

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2. The US Has The 4th Longest River System In The World

The Missouri River is the longest river in North America. The river derives from Montana, located at the base of the Rocky Mountains and flows for approximately 2, 341 miles (3, 767 kilometers) before it empties into the Mississippi River just north of St. Louis, Missouri. The Missouri River and the Mississippi River combine to create the 4th longest river system in the world.

For thousands of years, many people have depended on the Missouri River. From drinking water to transportation, irrigation, flood control and now even for the generation of hydroelectric power. As you can see this long body of water has played an important role over the years.

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3. The US Has The Largest Economy In The World

The United States has maintained its position of being the world’s largest economy since 1871. The economy is so large that the US is often noted as an economic superpower and this is due to the fact that it makes up almost a quarter of the global economy.

The US economy is connected to the country’s enormous population, technological innovation, high consumer spending, high average incomes, as well as a moderate unemployment rate.

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4. The American Flag Has Had 27 Versions

The first American flag only displayed 13 stripes as well as 13 stars that were arranged in a circle. The stars and stripes represented the 13 colonies that declared independence from Great Britain. While the origins of the first American Flag are unknown, some do believe that is was designed by a New Jersy Congressman, Francis Hopkinson and sewn by a Philadelphia seamstress, Betsy Ross.

Since the founding of the United State, there have been 27 versions of the American flag. Each new flag represented the addition of new states. Today, the American flag displays 50 stars that represent the 50 states that make up the US.

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5. Home To Some of The Best Musical Artist Of All Time

Not only is America a huge country, but their musical impression has made a big impact on the world too. America dominates the music industry as there are so many talented musicians that call America home.

Some of the best musical artists include Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Jimmy Hendrix, Madonna, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Beyonce, and many many more.

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6. Center of Entertainment

America has a huge impact on global culture and a portion of that stems from entertainment. Many romance and action movies we enjoy are filmed and produced in the United States.

Hollywood is globally well-known as the center of entertainment and some would consider that it is one of the most famous places on earth. Hollywood attracts tourists from all over the world with landmarks such as the brass star embedded Walk of Fame and the TCL Chinese Theatre.

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7. Washington, DC Wasn’t Always The Capital Of America

Many recognize Washington, DC as the capital of the United States but that wasn’t always the case. Washington didn’t become the capital until 1790.

Believe it or not, from 1785 until 1790, New York City served as the countries capital. While it may not be the capital today, over 8 million people reside in New York City, making it the most populous city in America.

Source: Shutterstock

8. Las Vegas Is The Gambling Capital Of The World

Las Vegas, Nevada is the 28th-most populated city in the United States and is the most populous city in Nevada. This famous city is renowned for its nightlife, entertainment, gambling, shopping, and fine dining. Las Vegas has the largest strip of casinos which has earned this city the Gambling Capital of the World title.

The city is also famous for its mega casino-hotels which has also earned Las Vegas the title of Entertainment Capital of the World. Further, Las Vegas is one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations as well as one of the top destinations for business conventions in the United States.

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9. There Is More Bourbon Than People In Kentucky

The bourbon industry is growing at a fast pace. This is great news for Kentucky, as they produce 96 percent of the world’s bourbon. Due to the high demand, Kentucky stores about 4.7 million barrels filled with bourbon. Surprisingly the number of barrels outweighs the population of Kentucky as there are 4.3 million residents.

Some speculate that this booming industry has the American drama series, Mad Men, to thank for making bourbon cocktails cool again. Nonetheless, whether you like bourbon because it’s trendy or because you simply enjoy the flavor, we all have the State of Kentucky to thank for this delicious beverage.

Source: Shutterstock

 

10. There Is a City Named Boring And It’s In Oregon

When you hear the word boring, nothing exciting comes to mind. So you might be asking yourself who would ever want to reside in a city name Boring. Believe it or not, tucked away in the state of Oregon about 20 miles from Portland, is a city named Boring with a population of over 7 thousand people.

While this may sound like an obscure name for a city, the name was chosen for a reason. The city was named after its founder, William H Boring, who farmed the land in the 1870s. To make things more exciting, Boring, Oregan partnered with Dull, Scotland and have even declared August 9 as the annual Dull, Boring Day. This newfound partnership has sparked tourist’s interest and is putting Boring, Oregan back on the map.

11. The US Doesn’t Have An Official Language

While English is predominantly spoken across the United States, on a federal level there are no laws stating that English is the official language. However, even though there are no federal laws, 31 states have declared English the official language.

Further, there are only a few states that are officially bilingual. For example, in New Mexico, the official language is English and Spanish, whereas, in Louisiana, the official language is English and French, and finally, in Hawaii, the official language is English and Hawaiin.

 

12. Alaska Has The Longest Coastline In The US

In comparison to other states, Alaska has the longest coastline. By definition, the coastline is the length of land bordering the ocean and Alaska borders both the Pacific Ocean and the Arctic Ocean.

To explain further, if you only measure the coastline, it is 6, 640 miles long whereas if you measure all the bays, and inlets, you’ll discover that Alaska stretches across 47, 000 miles, which is longer than all the states combined.

Source: Shutterstock

13. The US Is Called Many Names

The United States is by far the most famous country in the world. It’s famous for its attractions, such as the Grand Canyon, tech innovation, sports, and it has a large imprint on the global culture thanks to famous movies, television shows, and music.

However, did you know that the United States of America is referred to several different names? Some of these recognizable names are the United States, the U.S., the US, and America. Thankfully, all of these names are considered appropriate.

14. The US Has Many Hotels Featured In Famous Movies

Have you ever wondered what it would be like walking the halls of hotels that are featured in famous films? Well in America you can experience it! Many films use real hotels and resorts to shoot their scenes and this means we can visit and even stay overnight in them too.

Swim in the pool at The Fontainebleau, in Miami, Florida and relive the scenes of Scarface. Or perhaps you’d enjoy walking the halls of The Plaza hotel, in New York, NY where scenes from The Great Gatsby were shot. The Plaza is also featured in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Sleepless in Seattle as well as several other films too. Check out these other famous movie hotels where you can live like a star!

Source: MISHELLA / Shutterstock.com

15. There Are Many Free Museums In The Country’s Capital

Washington, D.C., America’s capital is the heart of American history and culture. There are many things to see and do in Washington DC including many free museums. The Smithsonian Institute museums are a must-visit and many of them are located on the National Mall.

In fact, 11 of the 20 Smithsonian Institute Museums are located in Washington, including the National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of American History, National Museum of African American History and Culture, as well as several others.

Source: Kamira / Shutterstock.com

16. Full Of Beautiful Landscapes

While America is famous for the hustle and bustle of its major cities, this beautiful country also offers stunning picturesque landscapes. As mentioned previously, the Grand Canyons is one of the most popular tourist destinations when it comes to picturesque views but there are many others too.

Consider checking out America’s highest mountain, Mount Mckinley located in Alaska. Or perhaps you’d like to head to Utah and take in the view of Zion Canyon at the Zion National Park. For more beautiful landscapes be sure to check out the most picturesque views in the United States.

Source: Shutterstock

17. Iconic Food In America

Like other countries, America is famous for a few dishes. To begin, the iconic Twinkies were invented in Illinois in the 1930s by a baker named James Alexander Dewar. Legend has it that the name for this sugary snack was inspired by a billboard that was advertising for “Twinkle Toe Shoes”.

The inventor of corn dogs is uncertain, but it was definitely invented by someone in America in the later 1930s. Since then this popular State Fair food has made its way into the many freezers across North America and beyond. A few other iconic American foods include cheeseburgers, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, s’mores, BBQ ribs, and more.

Source: calimedia / Shutterstock.com

18. The Statue Of Liberty Was A Gift

The Statue of Liberty, formally known as “Liberty Enlightening the World”, was a gift from France. This gift was sent to celebrate 100 years of Franco-American friendship. The statue was sculpted by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi while the framework was designed by a French engineer, Gustave Eiffel, who also designed the Eiffel Tower.

The Statue of Liberty is located on Liberty Island in New York, NY. The torch is a symbol of enlightenment and lights the way to freedom by showing us the path to liberty.

Source: Shutterstock

19. The Gateway Arch Is The Tallest Monument In The US

The Gateway Arch, also known as the “Gateway to the West” is a monument in St. Louis, Missouri and sits along the west bank of the Mississippi River. At 630 feet tall, the Gateway Arch claims the title of the tallest man-made monument in the US.

The monument commemorates the westward expansion of the United States and is officially dedicated to “the American People”. The Arch is internationally recognized as a symbol of St. Louis and because of this, it is a popular tourist destination.

Source: Shutterstock

20. The Most Visited Museum Is In Washington

Have you ever been curious about the space shuttle, astronomy, or the Wright Brothers? Well, you can learn about these popular aviation and space topics at the most visited museum in America, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Located in Washington, D.C., this museum sees about 9 million visitors annually.

The admission to this museum is FREE and is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm. The only day the Museum is closed, is on December 25.

Source: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

25 Most Dangerous Cities In The US In 2019

When it comes to travel, one of the most important things to consider is safety. Most people would assume safety is something they have to worry about when traveling to other countries where they don’t speak the same language or are unfamiliar with the culture, and while that is true, there is also a risk of danger even closer to home. You might be surprised to learn there are many cities within the United States that aren’t exactly all peaches and cream. You wouldn’t want to walk around alone at night or wander aimlessly as a tourist in any of the following cities on this list because they’re considered to be the most dangerous in America.

This list was created based off information from the FBI’s crime statistics which were gathered from US cities with a population over 100,000 between January 2017 and June 2017. The data looks specifically at the amount of violent crimes in a city which includes rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. It’s important to note that the data used to create this Uniform Crime Report is collected voluntarily by police forces in cities across the country and not every city or state chooses to participate, so this list doesn’t necessarily give the full picture. However, it does give a big picture look at some of the more dangerous cities which can be helpful for people who are planning their next big city vacation in 2019.

Here’s a look at some of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. in 2019…

25. Lansing, Michigan

First up on this list is the capital of Michigan, Lansing. Business Insider reported that this city experienced 52.2 violent crimes per 10,000 residents which converts to about 14 homicides in the year 2017. Unfortunately, unlike most cities where crime rates are going down, this was the highest it had been in the previous five years.

In 2017 the poverty rate was 29.5-percent and the unemployment rate sat at about 6.3-percent. Police Chief Mike Yankowski told the Lansing State Journal that their high crime rates were due to domestic violence and mental illness.

24. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis is best known for being a very diverse and artsy city, but now it’s also known as one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. When considering a trip to this city in 2019, just remember that it didn’t fare so well in 2017. Only two years ago the violent crime rates were pretty high in Minneapolis with a rate of about 53.7 per 10,000 residents, according to Business Insider.

USA Today translates this violent crime rate to 1,101 per 100,000 residents with a grand total of 42 homicides in 2017. The poverty rate was 21.3-percent and the unemployment rate was 3.1-percent.

23. New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is actually a pretty popular tourist hotspot, mainly because if its vibrant music scene, rich history, and round the clock party atmosphere. However what many people don’t often talk about is the fact that it’s actually quite dangerous, statistically. Business Insider writes that this city had 56.1 violent crimes per 10,000 residents in 2017 and 24/7 Wall St. notes that the city has some of the highest murder rates.

USA Today writes that in 2017 this touristy city had a violent crime rate of 1,121 per 100,000 residents and 157 homicides. The poverty rate here was 26.2-percent with an unemployment rate of 5.1-percent. Luckily mayor LaToya Cantrell has vowed to do something about it with a new program called Cure Violence.

Photo by: Bill Staney via Flickr

22. Newark, New Jersey

You’d think we’d see New York City on here ahead of one in New Jersey, but surprisingly, Newark is more prone to violence than the big apple (at least when population is factored in). In fact New York City is actually one of the safest big cities in the country. Not too far away is the city of Newark, New Jersey, one of the most dangerous cities in America. Business Insider writes that Newark had 42.8 violent crimes per 10,000 residents in 2017.

In 2016 there were 36 murders per 100,000 Newark residents which was about three times higher than any other city in New Jersey and the fifth highest in the country, at the time. One of the biggest factors in this city is unemployment. Cities with high unemployment rates tend to have more crime and Newark had an unemployment rate of about 8-percent which is about 5-percent higher than the national average. The poverty rate in 2016 was 29.7-percent which is also 15.5-percent higher than the national average. Not surprisingly, most of the crime takes place in the cities poorest areas, writes 24/7 Wall St. A report by the Safer Newark Council found that most of the violent crime occurred in only about 20-percent of the city streets, primarily in the West and South Wards. The report also said most of the homicide in the city is drug and gang related.

21. San Bernardino, California

In addition to being known as the site for the world’s first McDonald’s and the largest outdoor amphitheater in the United States, San Bernardino also has a reputation for being one of the most dangerous cities in the country (according to 2017 statistics) and the largest city to file for protection under Chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy code. This bankruptcy plays a huge role in the crime rate of this city because there have been major cutbacks to the police force.

In 2017 there were 1,291 violent crimes reported which includes murder, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults. This is the 15th highest in the entire country. USA Today reports that in 2017 San Bernardino had a violent crime rate of 1,291 per 100,000 residents, there were 34 homicides, and the city experienced a poverty rate of 32.3-percent with an unemployment rate of 6.3-percent.

20. Indianapolis, Indiana

When planning a trip in 2019, keep in mind that Indianapolis had a violent crime rate of 1,334 per 100,000 residents in 2017 which was one of the worst years this city has ever seen. As Indiana’s capital city, Indianapolis, sometimes referred to as ‘Indy’ is densely populated with an estimated population of about 863,002. On Dec. 28, 2017 Fox 59 reported there were 156 homicides in this city. This goes alongside a poverty rate of 20.9-percent and an unemployment rate of 3.6-percent. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, the violent crime rate in Indianapolis in 2017 was about 1,334 crimes per 100,000 residents.

19. Stockton, California

California is an extremely popular vacation spot, but it’s also an extremely big state with lots of cities, some nicer than others. We’re sure Stockton would be a lovely place to visit in 2019, but we think tourists should be wary about the unusually high crime rate here, especially in 2019 considering it wasn’t that long ago that the country claimed bankruptcy and landed on many lists as one of the U.S. cities with the highest crime rates. According to 2017 reports, this city had 68.8 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.

The city claimed bankruptcy back in 2012 making it one of the most populous cities to do so. The lack of funding could possibly affecting their ability to fight crime by limiting the amount of resources available. The violent crime rate in 2017 was 1,415 per 100,000 residents with a total of 55 homicides. The unemployment rate was 8-percent, which is among the highest in the country, and the poverty rate was 23.7-percent.

18. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee is the largest city in Wisconsin. It’s a beautiful city that has a stunning waterfront along Lake Michigan. To a lot of tourists, this city is known for its cultural events and festivals and for those who live here, it’s a great city that has tons of stuff to do and a booming economy with several universities and Fortune 500 companies, but there is one major thing to be wary about when traveling to this city. It’s has high crime rates. In fact, according to crime reports presented by the FBI for the year 2017,  Milwaukee had a violent crime rate of 1,597 per 100,000. This ranks as the seventh highest in the entire country and means that for every 10,000 residents in Milwaukee there were 75.6 violent crimes in 2017.

USA Today takes a deeper look and reports that there were 118 homicides in this city in 2017, along with a poverty rate of 28.4-percent and an unemployment rate of 4.6-percent. Luckily, the amount of homicides is actually going down. In 2016 it was 141 which is slightly higher than 2017. It seems the Milwaukee Police Department are working hard to lower these numbers by focusing their attention on a two-mile section, where most of these crimes occur.

17. Kansas City, Missouri

We’re not in Kansas anymore Toto! Okay, so it’s not the same Kansas as Wizard of Oz, but close enough. Turns out the state of Missouri is much more dangerous than the state of Kansas, specifically Kansas City (and St. Louis, but more on that later on). You might be wondering what this city is doing on this list considering it was just praised for doing such a good job bringing their homicide rate down. Unfortunately, it was short lived and it’s once again on the rise again. Be wary of this when planning a trip in 2019.

USA Today crunched the numbers from 2017 and found that Kansas City had a violent crime rate of 1,724 per 100,000 residents. There were 150 homicides which is up from the 129 in 2016. In addition to that, the unemployment rate was 4.3-percent and the poverty rate sat at about 18.3-percent.

Sharon Day / Shutterstock.com

16. Rockford, Illinois

You might not have ever heard of Rockford Illinois, but it’s actually the third largest city in Illinois and surprisingly, one of the most violent. While it’s not nearly as bad as Chicago and the number of homicides was actually quite low in 2017. There were only 18 murders reported that year. Rockford is still no walk in the park in terms of safety because homicide is not their biggest problem. According to data collected from 2017, Rockford had 78 violent crimes per 10,000 residents. There were 1,773 aggravated assault cases reported in 2017 which is a lot more than many other cities with the same population. For example, Naperville, Illinois has an even bigger population than Rockford and it’s reported cases of aggravated assault were only 80.

USA Today reports there was a violent crime rate of 1,588 per 100,000 residents and lists an unemployment rate of 7.5-percent and a poverty rate of 22.7-percent. Luckily, this city isn’t exactly a hot tourist spot, especially considering it’s in the same state of Chicago which is one of the most visited cities in the country, so Rockford often gets overlooked.

15. Birmingham, Alabama

Located in the South, Birmingham is the most populous city in Alabama and is often associated as being part of the “deep south.” Sadly, in addition to its southern roots, this city lands in the top 5 on Business Insider’s list of the most violent cities in the U.S., as well as Forbes top 5. Business Insider writes that Birmingham, Alabama had 86.1 violent crimes per 10,000 residents in 2017 and Forbes writes that there were 1,483 violent crimes per 100,000 residents.

If we wanted to look on the bright side of all this, Birmingham is actually making progress despite the fact that it’s still quite dangerous. The crime here is down 40-percent from what it was in the mid-1990s. Forbes writes that according to the U.S. Census Department, much of the crime in this city is due to the high drug trade and the high poverty rate. The poverty rate in Birmingham is 26-percent. This is quite a lot considering the state average is 17-percent.

14. Nashville, Tennessee

There’s no denying that Nashville is having a bit of a moment in terms of tourism. In the past few years this city has been crawling with tourists between the months of May and September. What most people probably don’t realize is that this city is actually statistically one of the more dangerous cities in the country.

In the year 2017 there were 110 homicides in the Nashville metropolitan area. Also, the crime rate was 1,138 per 100,000 residents and the poverty rate sat at about 18-percent. The murder rate in this city is so bad that the Oasis Center of Nashville which works to help at risk youth in the area called it an epidemic, according to 24/7 Wall St. Outsiders traveling in probably didn’t hear about the high homicide rate in this city because Metro Police spokeswoman Kristin Mumford told Nashville News4 that most of these homicides were between people who knew each other and were engaged in “risky behavior.”

13. Cleveland, Ohio

For the past several years, Cleveland has been considered one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. based on national crime rankings. Cleveland is the second largest city in Ohio which means it also has a large population. Unfortunately, a good chunk of this population lives in poverty and is unemployed. The city has some of the highest rates of unemployment in the country. In 2017 the unemployment rate sat at 7.4-percent and the poverty rate was 36-percent.

Not surprisingly, these numbers contribute to the higher violent crime rates. In 2017, Cleveland experienced 107 homicides and nearly 6,000 violent crimes were reported. The violent crime rate was calculated to be 69.2 violent crimes per 10,000 residents or 1,557 per 100,000 residents. While it’s still considered to be a great city to visit (I mean, it is the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), but travellers should just be wary of the high crime rate in this city when traveling here in 2019, and practice common sense.

12. Detroit, Michigan

It might not be too surprising to see this city on the list. Detroit has a reputation for being a bit of an urban graveyard with thousands of empty buildings, a massive population decline, and a high poverty rate. In 2017 the city’s poverty rate sat at a whopping 39-percent with an unemployment rate of 9.3-percent. Not surprisingly, these traits all contribute to a high crime rate.

A closer look at Detroit’s violent crime rate in 2017 showed that there were 2,057 per 100,000 residents and 267 homicides.

11. Chicago, Illinois

Chicago has a notorious reputation when it comes to crime, but it’s actually not as bad as some smaller cities on this list like New Orleans, Newark, and Detroit. Chicago is the third largest city in the country and while it does have a higher murder rate than the two larger cities, Los Angeles and New York City, it’s still not the most dangerous city in the country. The latest data from 2017 shows that the murder rate in Chicago was 24 per 100,000 residents. That same year 650 people were murdered in this city, down from 771 in 2016, which isn’t hard considering it was the deadliest year the city had seen in decades.

Despite the higher risk of danger in this city, it doesn’t seem to deter tourists at all. In 2017 it was the second most visited city in the United States with 55 million visitors, right behind New York City which had 65 million visitors.

10. Anchorage, Alaska

Tourism is actually a big part of Alaska’s economy, so it does get a lot of visitors throughout the year, but it also has a pretty high crime rate. This is mainly due to the fact that it is such a large state. It is the largest state, the 3rd least populous and the most sparsely populated state in America. This probably plays a big role in why Alaska has higher crime rates because the police are unable to get to a crime scene as quickly as they would in a more densely populated city. This also affects their ability to solve a lot of crimes. In 2017, Anchorage had 57.1 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.

Road Snacks writes that Anchorage ranked as the 16th most dangerous city in terms of violent crimes in 2017 with 1,203 per 100,000 residents and the 25th most dangerous for property crimes with a rate of 5,415 per 100,000 residents. 24/7 Wall St. writes that many experts blame drug and gang violence for these high crime rates and that more drug addiction and mental health treatment centers are needed in the city.

9. Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore is no joke when it comes to violent crime. In fact, there’s a reason HBO chose Baltimore, Maryland as the set for the American crime drama series The Wire. This show was supposed to depict a fictionalized version of the real crime issues in this city. So what are the real crime issues in Baltimore? Well for starters, this city has the third highest rate of violent crimes per 100,000 people. In 2017 there were 8,879 robberies reported which means the rate per 100,000 is 959 or 2,027 to 100,000 residents. To give a little perspective, this is nearly 10 times higher than the national robbery rate and the highest in any other major U.S. city. There were also 342 homicides in 2017 and a poverty rate of 23.1-percent. On a smaller scale, Business Insider found that Baltimore had 98.6 violent crimes per 10,000 residents in 2017.

USA Today reiterates this with a look at the violent crime rate per 100,000 residents which is 2,027. It also lists 2017 as having 342 homicides – that is pretty darn close to one every single day. This city also held a poverty rate of 23.1-percent and an unemployment rate of 6.1-percent.

Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

8. Pueblo, Colorado

When we think of Colorado we usually think of Rocky Mountains and a ski vacation getaway, but that’s not what Pueblo is known for. This city saw 48.9 violent crimes per 10,000 residents in 2017. What’s impressive is that this city is actually the smallest city on this list, but yet it still ranks pretty high up. It only just clocks over 100,000 people. While it may be smaller than some of the other cities on this list, it ranks in the eight spot for worst property crime rate with the majority of them being burglaries. Road Snacks reports there being 1,052 violent crimes per 100,000 people and 6,167 property crimes per 100,000 people.

mese.berg / Shutterstock.com

7. Chattanooga, Tennessee

Tennessee is a popular tourist destination because of Nashville, also known as ‘Music City,’ which also landed on this list. In addition to Nashville, the lesser known city of Chattanooga is another dangerous city to visit. It has the same kind of feel as Memphis and Nashville, but just not as touristy, and for good reason. It is one of the worst cities in America for property crime. It lands in the number 10 spot for property crime with 5,985 per 100,000 residents and is the 23rd most dangerous for violent crimes with 1,065 per 100,000 residents.

In 2017, there were 31 homicides. In most American cities the number of crime goes down each year, but for Chattanooga, the number of homicides in 2017 was at a record high. Local police said the major thing that did go down in 2017 was gang violence, writes 24/7 Wall St. In 2016 there were 132 shooting incidents, most of which were a result of a bloody gang war. While gang violence in this city is on the decline, the violent crime rate is on the rise. It was 1,023 per 100,000 in 2016, and in 2017 it rose to 1,066 per 100,000.

6. Oakland, California

Despite the high crime rates in this city, it’s actually become a desirable place to live and that’s because it’s so much cheaper than San Fransisco. Even though Oakland’s property prices are cheaper, there may be a price for safety. San Francisco ranks over 30 spots higher on the list of safe cities over Oakland. Now it’s not all doom and gloom for this city. To be fair their crime rates have actually been improving the past few years. It wasn’t that long ago that Oakland was known for having high rates of homicides, rapes, and aggravated assaults. According to 24.7 Wall St., the crime in this area skyrocketed after the recession, then went down, only to go back up again in 2012. Luckily it’s now on the decline again, but it’s still higher than most would like.

According to Road Snacks, “Oakland has the 10th highest violent crime rank in the country and the fifteenth highest property crime rate.” Yikes! In 2017 the violent crime rate was 1,299 per 100,000 residents and 69 homicides. The city had an unemployment rate of 4.2-percent and a poverty rate of 20-percent.

5. Albuquerque, New Mexico

For those who are surprised to see Albuquerque on this list, it’s more due to property crimes than violent crimes, but don’t be fooled by that. This is still one of the most dangerous cities in America. In 2016, Albuquerque had one of the worst crime rates in the country with 1,112 reported incidents of rape, assault, homicide, and robbery per 100,000 residents. Unfortuantely, 2017 didn’t fair much better for this city. In fact, the rates rose by a whopping 23-percent. In 2017 it became the 11th most dangerous city in America with 1,369 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, 70 of these incidents were homicides.

The poverty rate in Albuquerque is 18.9-percent with an unemployment rate of 5.5-percent. What’s even worse than being ranked as the 11th most violent city in the country? It’s ranked as the third most dangerous city for property crimes with 7, 365 per 100,000 residents in 2017. Many of these property crimes are a result of robberies. In 2016 the city reported 2,000 robberies which then rose to 2,930 in 2017.

 

4. Springfield, Missouri

As the first Springfield in America, this city made history. It’s making history once again, but this time as one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. Business Insider looked at FBI data from 2017 and found that Springfield had 40.3 violent crimes per 10,000 residents. According to 24/7 Wall St., this number is on the rise. The homicide rate nearly doubled between 2016 and 2017 going from 4.8 to 8.3 per 100,000. The same source writes, “Murder and non-negligent manslaughter represent a relatively small share of overall violent crime, and Springfield’s violent crime rate remained effectively unchanged between 2016 and 2017.”

Road Snacks lists it as the number one most dangerous city in terms of property crimes with 8,853 per 100,000 people and the 12th most dangerous for violent crimes with 1,338 per 100,000 residents. There were 14 homicides in 2017, a poverty rate of 25.9-percent and an unemployment rate of 3.2-percent. Yet another reason to be wary of traveling to this city in 2019, this city sadly has the highest rate of reported incidents of rape in the country with an average of 209 per 100,000 residents. To give some perspective on this, the national average is 42 per 100,000.

3. Little Rock, Arkansas

Little Rock’s crime rate ain’t so little! This city is the capital of Arkansas and the largest city in the state. Not only did it have the highest crime rate in the state, but is also one of the highest in the country! Little Rock had 87.4 violent crimes per 10,000 residents, says Business Insider and according to Road Snacks, it ranks in the top 10 in the country for both property and violent crimes per capita. The same source lists it as the sixth most dangerous in terms of violent crimes with 1,633 per 100,000 people and the fifth most dangerous in terms of property crimes with 6,932 per 100,000 people.

There were 55 homicides in this city in 2017, a poverty rate of 18.5-percent, and an employment rate of 3.3-percent, according to USA Today. The rate of criminal offenses in 2017 rose 1.1-percent from 2016, and 24/7 Wall St. says the police blame it on rival gang activity.

2. Memphis, Tennessee

Violence and crime probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Memphis, Tennessee. It’s more commonly known for it’s blues on Beale Street, being the home of Elvis, and of course, the site of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. But according to crime data from 2017, it’s currently one of the most dangerous cities in America with one of the highest violent crime rates in the country. In fact, Road Snacks lists it as being the third highest in America.

According to 24/7 Wall St., there were 653,000 violent crimes and 181 homicides committed in this city in 2017 which gives residents about a one in 50 chance at being a victim. We’re guessing the high rate of poverty has something to do with these statistics because Memphis has a poverty rate of about 27.6-percent which is much higher than the national 15.1-percent.

Natalia Bratslavsky / Shutterstock.com

1. St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis is typically known for it’s range of barbecue restaurants and blues music, but it’s also got another trick up it’s sleeve…one that probably isn’t advertised as much to tourists. It lands in the number one spot on several different lists as being the most dangerous city in America. Since this city ranks as the most dangerous city in America, at least based on crime data from 2017, we also consider it to be the most dangerous U.S. city to travel to in 2019.

Business Insider writes that St. Louis, Missouri had 91.5 violent crimes per 10,000 people in 2017. There were 205 homicides reported in St. Louis that same year which isn’t actually the highest number for a U.S. city in 2017, but once it’s adjusted to it’s population, it ends up being the highest murder rate in the country. According to 24/7 Wall St., St. Louis has a murder rate of 67 per 100,000 people which is extremely high, especially when it’s compared to the national average of 5 per 100,000. On top of all the violent crimes, the murder count for St. Louis in 2017 was 6,461 or 2,082 per 100,000 residents. This is the highest violent crime rate of any major U.S. city.

Best Cities To Visit In The US In 2019

The World’s Most Spectacular and Unique Picnic Spots

There are few more idyllic, memorable, budget-friendly activities than enjoying an outdoor picnic. Whether you’re a couple looking for a romantic spot to nosh wine and cheese, a family looking for a day outing, or a big group planning an event or reunion, there are loads of spots that will enhance the overall features with scenery, amenities and unique features built right into the setting. And there are many who agree that food just taste better outside.

1. Irvine Regional Park, CA

Located in Orange, CA, Irvine Regional Park is a mecca for family fun that includes a picnic. In addition to numerous picnic tables and outdoor grills, there is a host of activities to partake in after you’ve finished your potato salad. There are bike trails (bike rentals available), equestrian trails, pony rides, paddleboats and fishing. There is even a train that the family can hop on for a ride across the park, as well as a zoo.

2. Huayna Picchu, Peru

Looking for a picnic perch with a view? You can’t get much better than spreading your blanket out atop Huayna Picchu in Peru, breaking your bread and taking into the vistas out and below. At an elevation of 9,000 ft., stopping atop this mountain after a reportedly grueling hike- not only gives you a chance to rest and refuel your body after the hike, but a chance to refresh your soul as well, with a stunning panorama of the 15th century ruins of Machu Piccu, including the Urubamba River Valley and the iconic city of Inca.

3. Gatineau Park, QC

Gatineau Park, located just outside of Ottawa, ON has 5 different picnic areas within their network of parks. The park is very popular with mountain bikers, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Charcoal BBQs are available at various locations throughout the parks, as well as lots of picnic tables. The Etienne Brule Lookout is a popular picnic spot and offers fantastic views of the Ottawa River and connects to hiking and biking trails.

4. Grand Canyon South Rim, AZ

You’ve heard of dinner and a show? How about lunch and a view? And as views go, you can’t replicate the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon National Park at the South Rim has over 300 miles of trails to wander, take in this wonder of the world. Desert View Drive, which winds along the south rim of the Canyon leads to the Desert View Watchtower. Along this road are several lookout points and picnic areas. If you’re looking to extend your stay and camp, reservations are highly recommended. There are three campgrounds at the South Rim, including tent sites that can accommodate up to 50 people and three vehicles- so if your picnic plans are for a large group or reunion- this is a good spot for you.

5. Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park, Bristol UK

This fun park expands over 50 acres along the River Avon and has loads of family activities, including a petting zoo, mazes, a toddler village, and indoor and outdoor play areas. The park offers a “Riverside Experience” with miles of trails to follow along the river, providing idyllic picnic spots along the way.

6. Shannon Falls Provincial Park, B.C.

In Squamish B.C., Shannon Falls cascade down over Howe Sound, and are the third tallest falls in British Columbia. A meandering trail through the forest will get you down to the base of the falls- which is where you’ll want to head for photo ops and great views. If you feel like a longer hike, this trail hooks into the Stawamus Trail, which spreads its way out to three different summits. Shannon Falls Provincial Park is well-equipped for picnickers with a concession stand and picnic area located next to the parking lot. This area is for day-use only, making it ideal for a daytime hike and picnic to take in the views.

7. Villa Borghese Park, Rome

Villa Borghese is Rome’s answer to New York’s Central Park, with vast amounts of green space, walking trails and ponds. This park spreads out over 226 acres, and is populated with statues, museums, fountains, theatres and a zoo. There is a wide patchwork of lush, idyllic gardens in which to stop and smell the roses- literally. There are lots of grassy patches under trees to spread out your blanket and feast on your Italian picnic basket. Afterwards you can wander to one of the many man-made lakes and feed the ducks.