Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Vermont (VT)

Vermont State Flag


"The Green Mountain State"

Why visit Vermont?
A year-round destination offering antiques shops, camping, covered bridges, fall foliage, fishing, horseback riding, hunting, mountain biking, hiking, historic homes, history, museums, maple syrup, skiing, small towns, snowboarding and  snowmobiling.

Killington, VT. Photo Credit: Pixabay

At a Glance
  • Capital: Montpelier
  • State Bird: Hermit Thrush
  • State Dessert: Apple Pie
  • State Flower: Red Clover
  • State Gemstone: Grossular Garnet 
  • State Mammal: None
  • State Rock: GraniteMarble & Slate 

Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, VT. Photo Credit: Sarah Tipton/Pixabay 

Fun Facts
  • In 1535, discovered by Jacques Cartier, French Explorer.
  • In 1764, King George III established a boundary between New Hampshire and New York along the Connecticut River. New York refusing to recognize the land titles, New Hampshire Grants.
  • In 1777, for a short period was the Republic of New Connecticut after declaration of independence, New Hampshire Grants. Later adopting the name Vermont.
  • During the 19th Century (1801 - 1900), Granite Quarries (Rutland & Barre) attracted skilled Stonecutters from Ireland, Italy and Scotland.
  • In 1846, home to the first postage stamp made (Brattleboro).
  • During 1858, Vermonters were instrumental to the Underground Railroad, providing refuge for escaped slaves fleeing to Canada.
  • In 1885, thanks to resident, Wilson Bentle (Jericho) proved no two snowflakes are alike amongst 5000 photos.
  • In 1934, birthplace to the first ski tow was built (Woodstock).
  • In 1940, the first Social Security benefit check was paid to a local (Ludlow).
  • In 1978, the now popular Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream opened from a renovated gas station (Burlington).
  • Battles of Bennington and Saratoga are regarded as a turning point during the Revolutionary War as the first major defeat against the British Army. This anniversary battle is a legal holiday and still celebrated.
  • In 2006, the first state to adopt Greenhouse Gas Emissions goals.
  • Believed to once upon a time to be connected to Africa (Pangaea) with evidence of fossils and the rock formations found.
  • In 2009, the first state to legalize same sex marriage.
  • In 2009, issued the first state-wide Renewable Energy Feed-In Law.
  • In 2014, the first state to mandate labeling of genetically modified organisms in the retail food supply.
  • In 2018, the first state to legalize cannabis for recreational use and ninth state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. The second most LGBT population density state.
  • Climate Change has impacted the state with increased flooding, storms, winters have become warmer and shorter.
  • Marble from the quarry (East Dorset) was used to build the Thomas Jefferson Memorial (Washington, DC).
  • Invasive wild honeysuckle is a threat to the state's forests, native species of plants and wildlife.
  • Sugar Maple Trees require a period of cold to produce sap for maple syrup. The time to tap these trees has shrunk to one week in recent years. Trees are being stressed by acid rain, asian longhorn beetles and pear thrips (bug). A leading producer of maple syrup.
  • Agriculturally, Dairy Farming is their primary source.
  • Over 78% of the state's land area is forest.
  • Their economy is based on the "Vermont brand", in manufacturing and sale of artisan foods, fancy foods, ginseng growers, microbreweries and novelty item trading. Best known for Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, Burton Snowboards, Cabot Cheese, Fine Paints of Europe, King Arthur Flour, Vermont Butter & Cheese Company and Vermont Teddy Bear Company.
  • Largest producer of slate and leading exporters of granite in the country.
  • Use of billboard advertising along roads is prohibited.
  • Has 78 hydropower dams, which generates 143 MW resulting in approximately 12% of the state's demand.
  • Only state in the union not to have a balanced budget requirement.
  • Features 1 National Forests and 52 State Parks.

Lake Champlain, VT. Photo Credit: Don Johnoghue/Pixabay 

Thank You!
  • Spotlight Celebrities: Anna Konkle (Actress), Calvin Coolidge (President), Carlton Fisk (Athlete), Chester A Arthur (President), Elle Anderson (Athlete), Gabriel Mann (Actor), Jay Hayden (Actor), Keegan Bradley (Athlete), Orson Bean (Actor) and Susan Bennett (Actress), just to name a few.
  • Movies to Inspire You: American Gun (2000), Baby Boom (1987), Ethan Frome (1993), Forrest Gump (1993), Funny Farm (1988), I am the Cheese (1982), Icebreaker (1998), Me Myself & Irene (1994), Mud Season (1998), Nothing Like Dreaming (2002), Ordinary Sinner (2000), Star Trek (2009), The Cider House Rules (1999), The Gift of Love: A Christmas Story (1983), The Haven (1999), The Mudge Boy (2002), The Newcomers (1999) and Vermont is for Lovers (1992), just to name a few.
  • Reads Set in Vermont:  All the Best People (written by 
    Sonja Yoerg), 
    Bittersweet (written by 
    Miranda Beverly-Whittemore), 
    Life Among the Savages (written by 
    Shirley Jackson), 
    Midwives (written by 
    Chris Bohjalian), 
    Moonlighting In Vermont (written by 
    Kate George), 
    Northern Borders (written by 
    Howard Frank Mosher), 
    Off the Leash (written by 
    Helen Husher), 
    Pollyanna (written by 
    Eleanor H Porter
    Robert Frost's Poems (written by 
    Robert Frost), 
    Sacred Gold (written by 
    Linda Rawlins), 
    Snowflake Bentley (written by 
    Jacqueline Briggs Martin), 
    Wandering Home (written by Bill 
    Walking to Vermont (written by 
    Christopher S. Wren) and 
    Where the Rivers Flow North (written by 
    Howard Frank Mosher), just to name a few.

Wintery Covered Bridge, VT. Photo Credit:  Michelle Maria/Pixabay 

Good to Know
  • Foliage is best late September through mid October. Consider taking the views from one of the state ski chairlifts.
  • Spring weather comes late and is referred to as "Muddy Season".
  • Official Ccenic Byways includes Route 108 through Smuggler's Notch, Route 125 on Middlebury Gap Road and Route 131 on Cavendish Road.
  • Snowmobile Season is mid December through mid April.
  • New England Culinary Institute operates open to the public restaurants, La Brioche Bakery & Café (Montpelier) and NECI on Main (Montpelier).
  • Ferry Service operates year round from New York State across Lake Champlain from Burlington, Charlotte, Grand Isle and Shoreham
  • Beware of Timber Rattlesnake, a venomous snake.
  • "Woodchuck" refers to long rooted natives and "Flatlander" to newcomers, a controversial divide between then and now.
  • Native locals speak with an accent, you will notice they drop the "r " sound in words ending in "r" (example: "farmer" said like "farm-uh") and will add an "r" sound to words ending with a vowel (example: "idea" said like "idee-er"). Such an accent inherited roots from Scots-Irish and West Country ancestors.
  • Hunting is controlled for black bear, deer, moose and wild turkeys. Waterfowl Hunting (October 13 - December 16) is also controlled by Federal Law.
  • Amongst the New England states has the largest ski areas.
  • State Sales Tax rate is 6% and some cities/towns charge an additional 1% Local Option Tax. Tax Exemptions for clothing, food, fuel, medical items and shoes.

Subject to earthquakes, hurricanes, intense flooding and snowstorms.

  • Coldest Month: January
  • Hottest Month: July 
  • Peak Season: July - September

Burlington (Church Street), VT. Photo Credit: Michelle Maria/Pixabay 

Your Must-See & Do
  • Historical Sites: Brown Bridge, Calvin Coolidge Homestead District, Emma Willard House, George Perkins Marsh Boyhood Home, Justin S Morrill Homestead, Mount Independence, Naulakha (Rudyard Kipling House), Robbins & Lawrence Armory & Machine Shop, Robert Frost Farm, Rockingham Meeting House, Rokeby, Round Church, Shelburne Farms, Socialist Labor Party Hall, St Johnsbury Athenaeum, Stellafane Observatory, Ticonderoga (Side-Paddle-Wheel Lakeboat) and Vermont Statehouse.
  • Museums: American Museum of Fly Fishing, American Precision Museum, Bennington Museum, Birds of Vermont Museum, Billings Farm & Museum, Black River Academy Museum, Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, Cavendish Historical Society Museum, Chimney Point Historic Museum, Dorset Historical Society, ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Elizabeth de C Wilson Museum, Estey Organ Museum, Ethan Allen Homestead Museum, Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium, Farrar-Mansur House & Museum, Fleming Museum of Art, Fort Ethan Allen Museum, Grafton Historical Society, Hall Art Foundation, Henry Sheldon Museum, Heritage Winooski Mill Museum, Hildene the Lincoln Family Home, John Strong Mansion Museum, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Madsonian Museum of Industrial Design, Main Street Museum, Middlebury College Museum of Art, Montshire Museum of Science, Mt Holly Community Museum, Museum of the Creative Process, New England Maple Museum, Norman Rockwell Museum, Noyes House Museum, Old Stone House Museum, Robert Frost Stone House Museum, Rokeby Museum, Saint Albans Museum, Shelburne Museum, Shelburne Museum Covered Bridge, Southern Vermont Natural History Museum, Sullivan Museum & History Center, The Kent Museum, The Museum of Everyday Life, The Nature Museum,  The Old Mill Museum, The Perkins Geology Museum, Vermont Folklife Center, Vermont Granite Museum, Vermont Historical Society Museum, Vermont Marble Museum, Vermont Museums-Mining & Minerals, Vermont National Guard Library & Museum, Vermont Ski & Snowboard Museum, Vermont Toy Museum and Wonderfeet Kid's Museum. 
  • Popular Attractions: Bear Ridge Speedway, Ben & Jerry's Flavor Graveyard, Bennington Battle Monument, Bingham Falls, Bolton Valley, Bread & Puppet Theater, Bromley Mountain, Burlington City Arts, Cabot Creamery, Camel Hump, Chaffee Art Center,  Champlain Valley Exposition, Church Street Marketplace, Coburn Covered Bridge, Cold Hollow Cider Mill, Coolidge Homestead, Crowley Cheese Factory, Devil's Bowl Speedway, Equinox Mountain, Eureka Schoolhouse, Factory Marketplace, Grafton Village Cheese Company, Great Vermont Corn Maze, Green Mountain National Forest, Green Mountain Railroad, Hands Cove, Hope Cemetery, Jay Peak, Killington Ski Area, Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial, Justin Smith Morrill Homestead, Kingdom Trails, Lake Champlain, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, Moss Glen Falls, Mount Ellen, Mount Mansfield, Mount Snow, Park–McCullough Historic Governor's Mansion, Pico Mountain, Pump House Indoor Waterpark, Shelburne Farms, Quechee Gorge, Reverence, Rock of Ages Granite Quarry, Smugglers' Notch, Sojourns In Nature Fine Art Gallery, Steamboat Ticonderoga, St Johnsbury Athenaeum, Stowe Mountain, Stratton Mountain, Suicide Six, Sugarbush Farm, The Art of Humor Gallery, Thunder Road International Speedbowl, Vermont State House, Warren Falls and Waterfront Park.
  • Popular Cities/Towns to Visit:Brattleboro, Burke, Burlington, Chester, Chittenden, Cuttingsville, Dorset, Essex, Grafton, Hartford, Healdville, Killington, Manchester, Middlebury, Montpelier, Quechee, Plymouth, Shelburne, South Burlington, South Woodstock, Stowe, Vergennes, Waitsfield, Waterbury, Weston, Windsor, Weston and Woodstock. 
  • Special Events: (January) Marlboro Music Festival, Ice Harvest, Winter Carnival, (February) Magic Hat Mardi Gras Parade & Party, Winter is a Drag Ball, (March) Vermont Brewers Festival, Vermont Maple Open House Weekend, (April) Green Mountain Film Festival, Rasputitsa Spring Classic, Vermont Maple Festival, (May) All Species Day Parade & Spring Pageant, Blackfly Festival, Burlington Kids Day, Flavors of the Valley, Shakespeare Festival, (June) Discover Jazz Festival, Jenny Brook Bluegrass Festival, Music Under the Stars, Northeast Kingdom Cultural Heritage Day, Quechee Hot Air Balloon Craft & Music Festival, Strolling of the Heifers, Vermont Dairy Festival, Vermont Quilt Festival, (July) Arts Fest & Friday Night Block Party, BBQ Festival, Blueberry Bash, Festival of Fools, Kaleidoscope Festival, Mad Half Marathon, Middlebury Summer Festival, Native American Craft Show, (August) Champlain Valley Fair, Champlain Valley Folk Festival, Corn Festival, Deerfield Valley Farmers’ Day Fair, Green Mountain Bluegrass & Roots Festival, Moose Festival, Vermont Antique & Classic Car Show, Vermont Cheesemakers Festival, Vermont State Zucchini Festival, (September) Brewers Festival, Fairbanks Festival of Traditional Crafts, Festival on the Green, Oktoberfest, Peru Fair, Plymouth Cheese & Harvest Festival, Plymouth Folk & Blues Festival, Steampunk Festival, Tunbridge World's Fair, Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival, Vermont Small Farms Food Fest, Vermont State Fair, Westmore Mountain Challenge, (October) Apple Festival, Fall Dog Party, Fall Foliage Festival, Turnip Festival, Vermont International Film Festival, (December) Christmas Eve Sleigh Ride and Hildene Holiday Evenings.

St Albans, VT. Photo Credit: Michelle Maria/Pixabay 

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Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Utah (UT)

Utah State Flag

"Beehive State"

"Deseret", "Land of the Mormons", "Land of the Saints" and "The Mormon State"

Why visit Utah?
For the adventurous activity traveler desiring natural diversity with interest to bicycling, bobsleigh, camping, canyons, deserts, dinosaur fossils, fishing, golf, hike, horseback riding, monuments, Mormon history, national parks, river rafting, rock climbing, scenic drives, ski, snowboarding, speed skating and wilderness.

A popular destination for:
  • Amateur & Professional Photographers
  • Conventions, Meetings & Reunions
  • Groups: Family, Friends and Multigenerational

Bryce Canyon National Park, UT. Photo Credit: David Mark/Pixabay 

At a Glance
  • Capital: Salt Lake City
  • State Bird: California Gull
  • State Dessert: None
  • State Flower: Sego Lily
  • State Gemstone: Topaz 
  • State Mammal: Rocky Mountain Elk 
  • State Rock: Coal 

State slogans "Life Elevated", "The Greatest Snow on Earth" and "Utah! Where Ideas Connect".

Canyonlands National Park, UT. Photo Credit: David Mark/Pixabay 

Fun Facts
  • In 2007, Crandall Canyon Mine Huntington) collapsed killing nine.
  • On December 20, 2013, same sex marriage was legalized.
  • Approximately 80% of the state's land is controlled by the government for public use.
  • More than half of all Utahns are Mormons (cultural and religious group).
  • Major industries include cattle ranching, government services, mining, and salt production.
  • Has the highest birth rate compared to any other state.
  • The only state where the majority of the population belongs to a single church, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) Salt Lake City. In 2019, accounted for 60.7% of the population. Suggested to greatly influences daily life, politics, plural marriage (polygamy) and Utahn culture.
  • Rare threatened species, Tiger Beetle is only found at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park (Kanab).
  • Ranks first for income donations to charity and volunteerism compared to any other state.
  • Birthplace and home of Philo Taylor Farnsworth (1906-1971), American inventor and television pioneer.
  • Minerals mined beryllium, copper, gold, lead, molybdenum, silver and zinc.
  • Has the third most national parks of any state.
  • Hosted 2002 Winter Olympics (Salt Lake City). Also, the Utah Championship (Farmington) and Uniting Fore Care Classic (Park City).
  • Temple Square (Salt Lake City) more than five million visitors annually.
  • Four Corners Monument marks the quadripoint of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.
  • Features 6 National Parks, 6 National Forests and 43 State Parks.

Delicate Arch, Grand County, UT. Photo Credit: LoggaWiggler/Pixabay 

Thank You!
  • Spotlight Celebrities: Brendon Urie (Musician), Christine "Chrissy" Diane Teigen (Model), Derek Hough (Professional Dancer) and Jada Facer (Actress), just to name a few.
  • Movies to Inspire You: Back To The Future III (1990), Better Off Dead (1985), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Footloose (1984), Forrest Gump (1994), Galaxy Quest (1999), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Legally Blonde II (2003), Maverick (1994), Mission Impossible II (2000), National Treasure (2004), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007), Planet of the Apes (1968), Star Trek (2009), The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981), Thelma & Louise (1990), The Lone Ranger (2013), The Searchers (1953), The Tree of Life (2011), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) and Westworld (1973), just to name a few.
  • Reads Set in Utah: Basin and Range (written by 
    John McPhee), 
    Desert Solitaire (written by
    Edward Abbey), 
    Hiking Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks (written by 
    Erik Molvar), 
    Junction Utah (written by 
    Rebecca Lawton), 
    Let's Go To Utah (written by 
    Dave Chisholm) 
    Lonely Planet Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks (written by 
    David Lukas), 
    Mormon Country (written by 
    Wallace Stegner), 
    Prophet's Prey (written by 
    Sam Brower), 
    Ski Touring The Red Rock Country: Winter Trails in Southwest Utah (written by 
    Jonathan Wynn, 
    The Lonely Polygamist (written by 
    Brady Udall), 
    The 19th Wife (written by David Ebershoff)
    Wildflowers of Southwestern Utah (written by Hayle Buchanan), just to 
    name a few.
Salt Lake City, UT. Photo Credit: RobinSaville/Pixabay 

Good to Know
  • Utah English, a merger of Northern and Midland American dialects carried west by LDS Church members.
  • Not all ski areas permit snowboarding.
  • One of the lowest crime rates in the country.
  • The Moab area (southeastern), is best known for challenging mountain biking trails.
  • Many Ski Resorts have medical clinics available for injuries. Prices are usually higher than your local provider.
  • Stay hydrated, be mindful of your higher elevations to avoid Altitude Sickness.
  • Beware of Africanized honeybees (killer bees), bears, mountain lions, rattlesnakes and scorpions.
  • Purchase a National Parks Pass to visit monuments and several parks.
  • Regardless, of the season where sunblock as you're susceptible to sunburn in high altitudes. 
  • A four wheel drive vehicle or high-clearance truck rental is recommended.
  • Car Ferry operates across Lake Powell between the Bullfrog and Halls Crossing Marina.
  • Claims to be "the Greatest Snow on Earth" considering their dry and powdery snow.
  • Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC), consistently ranks first for fewest cancellations and on-time departures than any other airport in our country.
  • Alcohol, gambling and tobacco laws are strict! Sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited Sundays. Gambling in any form is illegal. Utah Indoor Clean Air Act, prohibits smoking in most public places statewide.
  • Intoxication occurs faster in high altitude.

Subject to flash flooding, hot summers, monsoons, snowstorms, tornadoes and wildfires. Monsoon Season is July-September.

  • Best Time to Visit: April - May and September - October
  • Coldest Month: January
  • Hottest Month: July 
  • Peak Season: June - August

Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument, Kanab, UT. Photo Credit: VIT DUCKEN/Pixabay 

Your Must-See & Do
  • Historical Sites: Alkali Ridge, Bingham Canyon Open Pit Copper Mine, Brigham Young Complex, Bryce Canyon Lodge & Deluxe Cabins, Central Utah Relocation Center, Danger Cave, Emigration Canyon, Fort Douglas, Mountain Meadows Massacre Site, Old City Hall, Quarry Visitor Center, Reed O Smoot House and Temple Square.
  • Museums: Aerospace Museum, Alf Engen Ski Museum, American West Heritage Center, Anasazi State Park Museum, Bean Life Science Museum, Bear River Valley Museum, Beaver Court House Museum, Box Elder Museum of Natural History, Brigham City Museum of Art & History, Brigham Young University Museum of Art, Browning-Kimball Classic Car Museum, BYU Museum of Paleontology, CAF Utah Wing WWII Aviation Museum, Chase Home Museum, Church History Museum, Clark Planetarium, Crandall Historical Printing Museum, Discovery Gateway Children's Museum, Donner-Reed Museum, East Carbon City Museum, Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum, Fairview Museum of History, Fort Douglas Military Museum, Fremont Indian State Park & Museum, Frontier Homestead State Park Museum, Grantsville DUP Museum, Great Basin Museum, Hill Aerospace Museum, Historic Wendover Airfield Museum, Hurricane Valley Heritage Park Museum, Hutchings Museum & Institute, John Wesley Powell River History Museum, Kanab Heritage House Museum, Land Cruiser Heritage Museum, Layton Heritage Museum, Little Hollywood Land: Museum Trading Post & Chuckwagon Cookout, Millstream Classic Car Museum, Moab Giants, Moab Museum of Film & Western Heritage, Mt Pleasant Pioneer Museum, Museum of Ancient Life, Museum of Natural Curiosity, Museum of Peoples & Cultures, Museum of the San Rafael, Natural History Museum of Utah, Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Ogden Union Station, Oquirrh Mountain Mining Museum, Park City Museum, Peteetneet Museum & Cultural Arts Center, Petroliana Museum, Pioneer Memorial Museum, Provo Pioneer Museum, Rosenbruch World Wildlife Museum, Sandy Museum, S & S Shortline Train Park, Southern Utah Museum of Art, Springville Museum of Art, St George Art Museum, St George Children’s Museum, St George Dinosaur Discovery Site, Territorial Statehouse State Park Museum, The Alf Engen Ski Museum, The Dinosaur Museum, The International Model Car Builder's Museum, The Leonardo, Tintic Mining Museum, Tooele Pioneer Museum, Topaz Museum, Treehouse Museum, Uintah County Heritage Museum, USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum, Utah Division of Arts & Museums - Rio Gallery, Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum, Utah Fire Museum, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Utah Sports Hall of Fame Museum,
    Washington City Museum, Weber Co Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum, Western Mining & Railroad Museum, Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum and Woodbury Art Museum.
  • Popular Attractions: Alkali Ridge (Alkali Point), Alta Ski Area, Angel's Landing, Antelope Island State Park, Arches National Park, Ashley National Forest, Ashton Gardens, Balanced Rock, Bears Ears, Bear Lake State Park, Beaver Mountain, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Bingham Canyon Mine, Bonneville Salt Flats, Bridal Veil Falls, Bryce Canyon National Park, Butler Washington Road, Butterfly Biosphere, Calf Creek Falls, Capitol Reef National Park, Cataract Canyon, Cathedral of the Madeleine, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Cherry Hill, Clark Planetarium, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Corona Arch, Cove Fort Historic Site, Cowabunga Bay Water Park, Crooked Mile, Dark Canyon Wilderness, Dead Horse Point State Park, Deer Valley, Delicate Arch, Devils Garden Trailhead, Dixie National Forest, Edge of the Cedars State Park, Escalante National Monument, False Kiva, Family History Library, Fifth Water Hot Springs Trail Head, Fishlake National Forest, Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, Forrest Gump Hill, Four Corners Monument, Fremont River, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Goblin Valley State Park, Golden Spike National Historical Park, Goosenecks State Park, Grand Staircase, Great Salt Lake State Park, Heber Valley Railroad, Hogle Zoo, Hole-in-the-Rock, Hovenweep National Monument, Inspiration Point, International Peace Gardens, Island in the Sky, Kodachrome Basin State Park, Lake Powell, Layton City Vietnam Memorial Wall, Liberty Park, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, Maddox Ranch House, McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs, McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area, Mesa Arch, Mirror Lake, Millcreek Canyon, Miners Park, Monarch Cave, Mormon Handicraft (Deseret Book), Mormon Trail, Monument Valley, Mormon Battalion Monument, Navajo Reservation, Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument, Nordic Valley, Ogden's George S Eccles Dinosaur Park, Old Pony Express Trail, Park City Mountain, Pioneer Trail State Park, Powder Mountain, Queens Garden Trail, Quick N Tasty Drive-In, Quilted Bear Antique & Craft Mall, Rainbow Point, Rainbow Bridge National Monument, Red Butte Garden & Arboretum, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Salt Lake City Tabernacle, Salt Lake Temple, Salt Lake Valley, Sand Hollow State Park, Sawtooth National Forest, SeaQuest Utah, Sears Art Museum Gallery, Slickrock Trail, Snowbasin, Snow Canyon State Park, Soldier Hollow Nordiac Center, Sugar House Park, Temple Square, Thanksgiving Point, The Arrowhead Gallery, The Beehive House, This is the Place Heritage Park, Timpanogos Cave National Monument, Tracy Aviary & Botanical Gardens, Tuacahn Center for the Arts, Utah Olympic Park, Utah State Capitol Building, Valley of the Gods, Wasatch–Cache National Forest, Wasatch Mountains, Wasatch Range, Westwater Canyon, Willard Bay State Park, Wilson Arch, Wire Pass Trailhead and Zion National Park.
  • Popular Cities/Towns to Visit: Bear Lake, Beaver, Brigham City, Cannonville, Cedar City, Fillmore, Garden City, Green River, Heber, Layton, Lehi, Logan, Mantua, Midway, Millcreek, Moab, Morgan, Ogden, Orem, Panguitch, Park City, Perry, Price, Provo, Richfield, Roy, Rockport State Park, Salt Lake City, Sandy, South Jordan, Springdale, St George, Taylorsville, Tooele, Vernal, Wanship, West Jordan and West Valley City.
  • Special Events: (January) DIY Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Tuacahn Saturday Market, (February) Salt Lake City International Tattoo Convention, (March) Hurricane MTB Festival, (April) Moab Jeep Safari,(May) Living Traditions Festival, (June) Bonanza Campout Music Festival, LOVELOUD Festival, Salt Lake Gaming Con, Salt City Sounds, Tastemakers, Twilight Concert Series, Utah Arts Festival, Utah Blues Festival, Utah Pride, Utah Shakespearean Festival, (July) Days of ’47 Parade, Deer Valley Music Festival, Pioneer Day, (August) Bike Prom, Das Energi, Dreamscapes, Hot Air Balloon Festival, Lyceum Music Festival, Tour of Utah, Wasatch International Food Festival, (September) ARC: Art for the Recovery Community Digital Festival, FanX: Salt Lake Comic Convention, Greek Fest, Harvest Festival, Moab Pride Festival, Swiss Days, Utah Pride Festival, Utah State Fair, Zion Canyon Music Festival, (October) Made in Utah Brewers Fest, Oktoberfest, Park City Wine Festival, Pumpkin Festival, Red Rocks Art Festival, Utah Asian Festival, Utah Pride Road Rally, Witchstock Festival, (November) Christmas Gift & Craft Show, DOCUTAH Film Festival, Fairy Tale Festival, Festival of Trees, Red Rock Film Festival, The Lights at Temple Square and (December) Luminaria. 

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Kanab, UT. Photo Credit: ArtTower/Pixabay 

Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel

Your one stop source: Accommodations I Air I Car Rentals I Cruises I Disney Excursions I Tours I Transfers I Travel Insurance I Villa Rentals

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Monday, November 2, 2020

Texas (TX)

Texas State Flag

"Lone Star State"

Long Horn Cattle Ranch, TX. Photo Credit: skeeze/Pixabay 

Why visit Texas?
Visit for architecture, barbecue food, birdwatching, camping, country-western music, cowboys, cultures, cyclists, dancing, diverse landscapes, fishing, golf, hiking, hunting, ranches, rodeos, tubing, rugged mountains, underground caverns and white water rafting.

Southfork Ranch (Dallas TV Show, Ewing Mansion), Parker, TX. Photo Credit: skeeze/Pixabay 

A popular destination for:
  • Amateur & Professional Photographers
  • Conventions, Meetings & Reunions
  • Cruise: Disembark/Embark
  • Groups: Family, Friends and Multigenerational

Rio Grande (Big River), TX. Photo Credit: David Mark/Pixabay 

At a Glance
  • Capital: Austin
  • State Bird: Mockingbird
  • State Dessert: Peach Cobbler & Pecan Pie
  • State Flower: Bluebonnet
  • State Gemstone: Texas Blue Topaz 
  • State Mammal: None
  • State Rock: Oligocene Petrified Palmwood 

Dallas, TX. Photo Credit: David Mark/Pixabay 

Fun Facts
  • Since 1913, "everything is bigger in Texas" has been used.
  • "Don't Mess with Texas" began as an anti-littering advertisement and eventually became an identity statement.
  • Second largest U.S. state. 
  • The state flag and seal has one star reflecting their struggle for independence from Mexico.
  • Has 3,700 named streams and 15 major rivers.
  • Has the tallest freestanding historical figure statue, Sam Houston measuring 67 feet (Huntsville).
  • Three of its borders are defined by rivers.
  • The second most polluting state of greenhouse gases and seventh in the world.
  • A reputation of very harsh criminal punishment for criminal offenses with strong self defense laws, allowing citizens to use lethal force to defend themselves, their families, or their property.
  • Second largest population of millionaires in the nation.
  • Leads the nation in the production of cattle, goats, hay, horses, mohair, sheep and wool.
  • Droughts cost the state billions of dollars in crops and livestock.
  • Upscale shopping mall, Highland Village Park (Dallas) was the first self contained shopping center in America. 
  • The buckle of the Bible Belt (East Texas).
  • Evangelical non-denominational Christian, Lakewood Church (Houston), has the largest attendance in the nation with 16,800 seats averages around 52,000 attendees weekly.
  • Considered "The Live Music Capital of the World" (Austin), has more live music venues per capita than popular music hotbeds like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Memphis or New York City.
  • Fusing sounds and dance of European, Mexican and U.S. influences has earned title as "The Tejano Music Capital Of The World" (San Antonio).
  • Texas House Bill 588, guarantees students who graduate in the top 10% of their high school class will automatically admit to state funded universities. 
  • Home to America's largest highway and railway systems.
  • State Highway 130 toll road with a speed limit of 85 miles per hour is the highest limit in the nation.
  • Port of Houston is our country's busiest port.
  • Hosted the world's first rodeo (Pecos).
  • Town Founders on the State's Application for Incorporation wrote "Uncertain" which was understood to be the town's name.
  • The largest oil producer state with a total production of 1.85 billion barrels (2019).
  • Hit television series, Dallas was filmed with CBS3 from 1978-1991 at Ewing Mansion (Southfork Ranch, Parker).
  • Features 5 State Forests and 120 State Parks.

Big Bend National Park, TX. Photo Credit: Eduardo Letkeman from Pixabay 

Thank You!
  • Spotlight Celebrities: "Beyoncé" Giselle Knowles-Carter (Musician), late President Dwight D Eisenhower, Lance Armstrong (Athlete), Lizzy Greene (Actress), Nick Jonas (Musician), Selena Gomez (Musician), Selena Quintanilla (Musician) and "Usher" Raymond IV (Musician), just to name a few.
  • Movies to Inspire You: American Sniper (2014), Boyhood (2001), Killer Joe (2011), No Country For Old Men (2006) and The Tree of Life (2011), just to name a few.
  • Reads Set in Texas: Adventures with a Texas Naturalist (written by Roy Bedichek), Coronado's Children (written by J Frank Dobie), Galveston (written by Nic Pizzolatto), Goodbye to a River (written by John Graves), Leaving Cheyenne (written by Larry McMurtry), No Country for Old Men (written by Cormac McCarthy), Tales of old-time Texas (written by J Frank Dobie),Texas (written by James A Michener), The Boy Kings of Texas: A Memoir (written by Domingo Martinez), The Gates of the Alamo (written by Stephen Harrigan), The Last Picture Show (written by Larry McMurtry), The Which Way Tree (written by Elizabeth Crook) and Thyme of Death (written by Susan Wittig Albert), just to name a few.

Bluebonnet (Buffalo Clover, Lupinus Subcarnosus, Lupinus Texensis, Texas Lupin) Austin, TX. Photo Credit: Joan Gonzalez/Pixabay 

Good to Know
  • Anticipate distances between attractions.
  • Take note of signs: No Smoking, No Dogs, No Guns.
  • Beware of poisonous scorpions, snakes and spiders.
  • State Parks Pass permits entry to several parks per vehicle.
  • Hunters usually pay a fee to hunt on private game farms.
  • Protected by State Law do not pick wildflowers.
  • A melting pot of cultures from around the world.
  • Ranks the third worst healthcare system in the nation for access to healthcare, avoidable hospital spending, equity and quality of care.
  • Spanish is a second popular language spoken.
  • Speak the local language: All git-out = exceedingly or as much as possible, Coke = any carbonated drink, Fixin’ to = you’re about to do something, Hissy fit = tantrum, Howdy = hello and Y’all = you all.

Sam Houston Statue, Huntsville, TX. Photo Credit:  rayvberkel/Pixabay 

Subject to Blue Norther, dust storms, heavy rains, humidity, hurricanes and tornadoes. Hurricane Season is June - November their impact normally between August - October.

  • Best Time to Visit: March - April
  • Coldest Month: January
  • Hottest Month: August 
  • Peak Season: June - August

Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, TX. Photo Credit: David Mark/Pixabay 

Your Must-See & Do
  • Historical Sites: Acton State Historic Site, Battleship Texas State Historic Site, Caddo Mounds State Historic Site, Casa Navarro State Historic Site, Confederate Reunion Grounds State Historic Site, Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site, Fannin Battleground State Historic Site, Fanthorp Inn State Historic Site, Fort Griffin State Historic Site, Fort Lancaster State Historic Site, Fort Leaton State Historic Site, Fort McKavett State Historic Site, Fort Richardson State Park & Historic Site, French Legation State Historic Site, Fulton Mansion State Historic Site, Goliad State Park & Historic Site, Goodnight Ranch State Historic Site, Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site, Landmark Inn State Historic Site, Levi Jordan Plantation State Historic Site, Lipantitlan State Historic Site, Lyndon B Johnson State Park & Historic Site, Magoffin Home State Historic Site, Mission Dolores State Historic Site, Mission Rosario State Historic Site, Monument Hill & Kreische Brewery State Historic Sites, National Museum of the Pacific War, Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historic Site, Sabine Pass Battleground State Historic Site, Sam Bell Maxey House State Historic Site, Sam Rayburn House State Historic Site, San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site, San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site, Starr Family Home State Historic Site, Varner–Hogg Plantation State Historic Site, Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site and Zaragoza Birthplace State Historic Site.
  • Museums: African American Museum, Air Terminal Museum, Amarillo Museum of Art, American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, ArtCar Museum, Bayou Bend Collection & Gardens, Blaffer Art Museum, Blanton Museum of Art, Briscoe Western Art Museum, Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, Bullock Texas State History Museum, Cavanaugh Flight Museum, Charles Goodnight Historical Center, Children's Museum of Houston, Contemporary Arts Museum, Corpus Christi Museum of Science & History, Creation Evidence Museum, C.R. Smith Museum, Crow Museum of Asian Art, Dallas Museum Of Art, Devils Rope Barbed Wire Museum, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, Dr Pepper Museum & Free Enterprise Institute, dison Museum, Elisabet Ney Museum, Ellen Noël Art Museum, El Paso Museum of Art, Fort Worth Aviation Museum, Frontiers of Flight Museum, George W Bush Presidential Library & Museum, Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary, Heart of Texas Country Music Museum, Holocaust Museum Houston, Houston Museum of Natural Science, International Bowling Museum, International Museum of Art & Science, Kimbell Art Museum, LBJ Presidential Library, Lone Star Flight Museum, Mayborn Museum Complex, McNay Art Museum, Meadows Museum, Mexic-Arte Museum, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Museum of Biblical Art, Museum of North Texas History, Museum of South Texas History, Museum of Southwest, Museum of Texas Tech University, Museum of the Big Bend, Museum of the Weird, Museum of Western Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, National Border Patrol Museum, National Museum of the Pacific War, National Videogame Museum, Ocean Star Offshore Oil Rig & Museum, Old Red Museum of Dallas County History & Culture, Panhandle - Plains Historical Museum, Permian Basin Petroleum Museum, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Pioneer Museum, Republic of Texas Museum, San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA), San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, San Jacinto Museum of History, Selena Museum, Sid Richardson Museum, Silent Wings Museum, Space Center Houston, Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum, Stark Museum of Art, Star of the Republic Museum, Texas Capitol, Texas Civil War Museum, Texas Heritage Museum, Texas Maritime Museum, Texas Memorial Museum, Texas Museum of Broadcasting & Communications, Texas Museum of Science & Technology, Texas Prison Museum, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum, The Alamo, The Art Museum of South Texas, The Bryan Museum, The Buckhorn Saloon & Museum, The DoSeum, The Health Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts, Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, USS Lexington, ("The Blue Ghost"), Thinkery, UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures and Witte Museum.
  • Popular Attractions: Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo, AT&T Stadium, Aquatica San Antonio, Austin Aquarium, Bahama Beach Waterpark, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Barton Creek, Barton Creek Greenbelt, Beach Park At Isla Blanca, Beer Can House, Bishop's Palace, Boogie Bahn, Brackenridge Park, Brazos Bend State Park,  Cadillac Ranch, Klyde Warren Park, Big Bend National Park, Big Rivers Waterparks, Black's & Kreuz Market, Brackenridge Park, BSR Cable Park, Buffalo Bayou Park, Caldwell Zoo, Cameron Park Zoo, Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway, Castaway Cove Waterpark, Caverns of Sonora, Children's Aquarium at Fair Park, Chiso Mountains, Circuit of the Americas, Congress Avenue Bridge, Dallas Zoo, Dealey Plaza, Dinosaur Valley State Park, Discovery Green, Don Harrington Discovery Center, Doral Tesoro, Dove Waterpark, Downtown Aquarium, El Paso Zoo, Enchanted Rock, Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark, Fanthorp Inn State Historic, Fort Worth Botanic Garden, Fort Worth Stockyards, Fort Worth Water Gardens, Fort Worth Zoo, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, Galveston Beach, Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, Garner State Park,  Gerald D Hines Waterwall Park, Gladys Porter Zoo, Gonzales Food Market, Grand Texas, Gruene Hall, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Guadalupe River, Hamilton Pool Preserve, Harry Ransom Center, Hawaiian Falls Garland, Hawaiian Falls Roanoke, Hemisfair, Hermann Park, Hill Country, Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, Houston Funplex, Houston Zoo, Hurricane Alley Waterpark, Hurricane Harbor Arlington, Inks Lake State Park, Inner Space Cavern, Japanese Tea Garden, John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial, Joyland Amusement Park, Kemah Boardwalk, Kiddie Park, Klyde Warren Park, Kreische Brewery & Monument Hill State Historic Site, Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, La Villita Historic Arts Village, Legoland Discovery Center Dallas Fort Worth, Lillie & Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden, Lions Junction Family Water Park, Longhorn Cavern State Park, Lost Maples State Natural Area, Louis Mueller Barbecue, Magnolia Market, Majestic Theatre, Mandalay Canal Walk at Las Colinas, Market Square, McDonald Observatory, M.L. Leddy's Boots & Saddlery, Mission Concepción, Monahans Sandhills State Park, Moody Gardens, Morgan's Wonderland, Mount Bonnell, Mustang Island State Park, NASA, Natural Bridge Caverns, Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, NRH2O Family Water Park, Padre Island National Seashore, Palo Duro Canyon, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Paradise Springs Aquatic Parks, Paris Texas Eiffel Tower, Prada Marfa, Pecos, Pedernales Falls State Park, Pioneer Plaza, Pirates Bay Waterpark, Pirates Cove, Port Isabel Lighthouse, Prause Market, Radha Madhav Dham, Rainforest Pyramid, Reunion Tower, Rio Grande River, Salt Lick, Ripley's Believe It or Not!, Rob Fleming Aquatic Center, Rowlett Wet Zone, San Antonio Botanical Garden, San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, San Antonio River Walk, San Antonio Zoo, Rock'N River Water Park, San Fernando Cathedral, San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site,  Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston, Sea Life Grapevine Aquarium, SeaWorld San Antonio, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Six Flags Over Texas, Sonny Bryan's, Spoetzl Brewery, South Congress Avenue, Southfork Ranch (Ewing Mansion), Splash Dayz, Spalsh Kingdom Waterpark, Splashtown San Antonio, Splashway Water Park, Summer Fun Water Park, Sunken Gardens,  Texas State Aquarium, The Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden, The Dallas World Aquarium, The Menil Collection, Tower of the Americas,  Typhoon Texas Waterpark, Volente Beach Waterpark, Waco Mammoth National Monument, Waterpark at the Villages, Water Works Park, Wet N' Wild Waterworld, White Rock Lake, White Water Bay, Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park, Zilker Botanical Garden and ZDT's Amusement Park.
  • Popular Cities/Towns to Visit:Amarillo, Arlington, Athens, Austin, Beaumont, Brownsville, Canton, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Driftwood, El Paso, Fort Worth, Frisco, Galveston, Garland, Gonzales, Grand Prairie, Houston, Irving, Killeen, La Grange, Levelland, Llano, Lockhart, Lubbock, Marshall, McKinney, Muleshoe, Notrees, Pasadena, Plano, San Antonio, Turkey, Uncertain, Waxahachie and West.
  • Special Events: (January) Day for Night Festival, 3M Half Marathon, Southwestern Exposition & Livestock Show, (February) Anime Matsuri, Charro Days, Commstock, Ushicon, (March) Dogwood Trails Festival, Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, Shriners College Classic, South by Southwest (SXSW), South Texas State Fair, Sweetwater Jaycee's World's Largest Rattlesnake Round-Up, (April) Bob Wills Day Celebration, Bunnies on the Bayou, Red Poppy Festival, Strawberry Festival, (May) A-Kon, Canadian River Music Festival, Crawfish Festival, Euphoria Music Festival, JMBLYA, Middllelands, Old Fiddlers' Reunion, Spring Fest & Fiddlers Contest, Stagecoach Days Festival, Texas Star Party (TSP), (June) DFW Writers Conference (DFWCon), Houston Gay Pride Parade, QueerBomb Dallas, Shrimporee, Tomato Festival, West Texas Western Swing Festival, (July) Great Texas Mosquito Festival, Kaboom Town, Miss Texas' Outstanding Teen, RealmsCon, Spring Ho, What A Melon Festival, (August) AnimeFest, Herb Festival, Let's Play Gaming Expo, QuakeCon, Rock the Desert, Schulenburg Festival, UFO Festival, (September) Cactus Country Festival, Dripping with Taste, Fall Festival, Harvest Festival & Street Dance, Kolache Festival, Neon Desert, Old Town Festival, Safeway Bowl, State Fair of Texas, Trans-Pecos Festival of Music + Love, West Fest, (October) Art Outside, Austin City Limits Music Festival, Austin Film Festival, Chigger Festival, Come & Take It Festival, Cotton Harvest Festival, Czhilispiel, East Texas Fire Ant Festival, East Texas Yamboree, Fire Ant Festival, Levitation, North Texas State Fair & Rodeo, 'Old Rip' Fest, Oni-Con, Peanut Festival, Pirate Festival, Prairie Days Festival, Retropalooza, Texas Mushroom Festival, Texas Rose Festival, UTOPiAfest, Wild Game Festival, World Championship Fiddlers Festival, (November) Margarita Ball, Spinach Festival, Texas Renaissance Festival, Wurstfest, (December) Cowboy Christmas, Dickens on the Strand, Ikkicon and Texas Bowl.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: San Antonio Missions

Mission Concepción,  San Antonio, TX. Photo Credit: gamathers/Pixabay 

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