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Popular for travelers Tourist Attractions Train Travel United States

Vintage Railway Experiences and Attractions in the US

In a past era, travel by rail was one of the most luxurious and adventurous ways to travel across the miles. While train travel may never be what it once was, there are some amazing vintage railway experiences and attractions scattered across the United States. Once-famous train cars have been converted into spaces for scenic tours, cozy dining, and hiking destinations. Place one of these railway experiences and attractions on your next travel itinerary.

Verde Valley Railroad

Clarksdale, AZ

Jerome Arizona: Historic Jerome Grand Hotel and Verde Valley.
Jerome Arizona: Historic Jerome Grand Hotel and Verde Valley.

Take this southwest passenger train and travel back in time to some of Arizona’s most beautiful backcountry and red rock canyons. You won’t see this landscape except by rail, and tourists love the original train car seating, panoramic windows, and classic furnishings. This four-hour tour is perfect for adults and children alike and begins with refreshing beverage and a light snack. The train host describes famous Arizona landmarks and offers some musical interludes. An outdoor car is easily accessible at any time, weather permitting. The Verde Valley Railroad is only a half-hour drive from beautiful Sedona—and the perfect getaway to enhance your vacation and create a travel memory.

Grand Canyon Railway

Williams, AZ

The train to the Grand Canyon waiting at Williams Station, Arizona illuminated by a fiery sunset sky.
The train to the Grand Canyon waiting at Williams Station, Arizona illuminated by a fiery sunset sky.

The vintage Grand Canyon Railway system originated in 1901 and still runs today to transport tourists from Williams, Arizona, to the gorgeous South Rim of the Grand Canyon. This 65-mile trip includes views of one of the most iconic landmarks in the United States. Site narration with music is  offered by some of the park’s most knowledgeable hosts. This two-hour railway experience includes a car class of choice, from luxurious to casual. There is plenty of wildlife, scenic views, and some package deals for the whole family. The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel is nearby and there are also a number of attractions and activities in Williams, Arizona, to add to your travel itinerary.

Virginia and Truckee Railroad

Virginia City, NV

Virginia and Truckee Railroad, Nevada
Virginia and Truckee Railroad, Nevada

Select from various types of railway experiences at the Virginia and Truckee Railroad located in the eccentric Virginia City. Enhance your vacation with a steam train ride or a diesel train ride, and plan on a special experience if you make your travel reservations around a holiday. There are two routes to choose from—Virginia City to Gold Hill (only 35 minutes) and Carson City to Virginia City (all-day adventure). Both tours include some fascinating history, exciting tunnels and a number of mining sites for viewing. Get off the train for three hours at Virginia City and take in some original boutiques, saloons, restaurants and museums. This railway experience has something for everyone.

Donner Summit Train Tunnels

Soda Springs, CA

old train tunnels nicknamed "China Wall" on Schallenberger Ridge near Donner Lake Truckee, Nevada county, California.
Old train tunnels nicknamed “China Wall” on Schallenberger Ridge near Donner Lake Truckee, Nevada county, California.

While this adventure does not include a luxurious Southern Pacific train coach, the history and the visual experience of the Donner Summit Train Tunnels are fascinating. If you want to get serious, this attraction may require some hiking gear and a day’s refreshment. Take a historical journey on foot through abandoned trail tunnels located on Donner Summit. The journey might also include a scenic view of the old Lincoln Highway, the historic Donner Summit bridge, and the beautiful Donner Lake. Travel during vacation season (after mid May), bring a flashlight, and prepare for cooler interior temperatures. It’s an outdoor vacation adventure for explorers.

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

Durango, CO

Durango, Colorado, USA: Tourists inside the historic steam engine train from Durango to Silverton in Colorado.
Durango, Colorado, USA: Tourists inside the historic steam engine train from Durango to Silverton in Colorado.

Those who long to travel back in time on their next family vacation will enjoy a 3-1/2 hour adventure aboard the Durango Train. This vintage coach car offers a coal-fired and steam-powered ride from the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad that begins in Durango and travels to Silverton, Colorado, and back. More frequently used by miners and frontier travelers, the Durango Train originated in 1882. Guests will take in beautiful scenes along the stunning Animas River where only a rail line can generally navigate. Plan for some steep mountainside curves and fascinating rock formations along the way. Tourists will not be disappointed in the now-and-then echoing of the steam whistle.

Ohio Railcar Dining

Cincinnati, Bellville, Toledo, Peninsula, and Columbus

NEW HOPE, PA- View of the New Hope and Ivyland rail road, a heritage train line for visitors going on touristic excursions in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
NEW HOPE, PA- View of the New Hope and Ivyland rail road, a heritage train line for visitors going on touristic excursions in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Everyone loves trains, and Ohio is known for some fine railcar dining sites vacationers and tourists won’t want to miss. The Cincinnati Dinner Train offers a 3-hour scenic train ride and a dining vintage railway experiences to remember. The Buckeye Express Diner is nothing fancy but a lot of fun for the whole family to enjoy. The Old Spaghetti House is a nationwide favorite—especially aboard a railcar in Toledo along with several other Ohio railcar locations. For a little more adventure, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad features brunch, cocktails, or a murder mystery dinner along with seasonal scenic train rides through Cuyohoga Valley National Park. For your special occasion, rent The Depot Events Center train car in Columbus. This is certain to please the guests of honor and the guests alike!

Let us know if you knew the vintage railway experiences or if you were completely surprised with this list.

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United States

Transportation for the President of the United States

Have you ever wondered how the President of the United States gets from one place to another? How about the cost of that transportation? Today, we are going to break it all down for you, so you do not need to wonder any longer!

Now, you know that the President is a very important person and any minute that he is exposed to the public can become dangerous. Therefore, every single detail of his transport must be planned out to the second.

One of the most often used modes of transportation is the Presidential Motorcade. There are between forty and fifty vehicles involved and at least one hundred people. The route car leads a bunch of motorcycles before the lead car. Their job is to clear off the roads, so the motorcade can go through without an issue. The local police department takes care of the beginning part, so there are fewer vehicles involved in the true motorcade.

The main part of the motorcade contains two limos, but no one will ever know which one the President is riding in. Both limos are bulletproof and the only window that opens is the one on the driver’s side. Inside the limos are many different types of guns, oxygen tanks, and two pints of the President’s type of blood.

The Secret Service sits in the other cars within the motorcade and if you look closely at these cars when they are passing by, you will see that some cars have the Secret Service members sitting facing the back. They hold guns, so they can take care of threats if they occur.
An ambulance follows the Presidential Motorcade just in case there is an emergency along the way. Police cars also follow the motorcade, so no one can speed up and enter the pack.

The motorcades are only used for trips up to thirty minutes in length, due to the danger that is present with them. Any trips that are longer distances will have the President riding in Marine One.

Marine One is a helicopter, but not a specific one. The name is used for any helicopter the President is currently on and there are usually thirty-five that can be used at any given time. Once the helicopter gets up in the air, it is automatically surrounded by at least five identical helicopters, so no one truly knows which one the President is on.

Most of the helicopter rides that the President takes are to Andrews Air Force Base, which is where their plane, Air Force One, is located. There are two airplanes that are normally used as Air Force One, but another plane could be used as well.

Did you know that it only takes approximately one hour for the President of the United States to go from Washington DC to New York City? That includes a trip from the White House to Andrews Air Force Base via Marine One, the flight to New York City on Air Force One, the helicopter ride to where the motorcade will take the President to their final location, and the motorcade ride itself. It’s completely amazing!

Now, let’s break down the costs:

Air Force One flight time per hour: $206,337

Marine Force One flight time per hour: This isn’t as much of public knowledge as the flight above, but it averages around $2,199.

Other Helicopters Involved with Marine One flight per hour: $3,180

Massive Military Plane for Transporting Marine One helicopters per hour: $100,941

On average, it costs more than three hundred billion dollars to transport the President of the United States every year, which is about a quarter of the White House’s annual budget.

This is a huge number, but it is necessary to keep the President safe while they are in office.

Did you know all this?

If you didn’t, you do now!

If you liked this blog, check out Take a Virtual Tour of These Historical Sites Around the US. We bet you love it too!

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Covid 19 Cultural Tourist Attractions United States Virtual Tours

Missing Out on a Trip to Washington DC? Check Out These Virtual Tours Immediately!

Washington DC is a massive city and it is incredibly difficult to see all the attractions and landmarks during just one visit. If you have always wanted to see as many sights as you can, you may want to take a virtual tour of some of the best places in this area.

Check Out These Virtual Tours in Washington DC Immediately

Virtual Tours in Washington DC

1. Mount Vernon

George Washington’s home is not too far outside Washington DC, although it can take forever to get there thanks to the plethora of traffic on the roads. A virtual tour will have you seeing a lot of the first President’s home, as well as the grounds.

President George Washington Home At Mount Vernon In Virginia
President George Washington Home At Mount Vernon In Virginia

2. US Botanic Gardens

It can take hours to wander around the US Botanic Gardens, but you can see the botanic garden, conservatory, and even parts of Bartholdi Park in no time at all with a virtual tour. You can choose between an audio or video tour, although, I prefer the second. After all, isn’t the whole point of wandering through a garden being able to see it?!

The National US Botanical Gardens in Washington, DC, USA.
The National US Botanical Gardens in Washington, DC, USA.

3. Capitol Hill

You can’t do a true virtual tour of Capitol Hill, but you can easily learn more about each building during this unique virtual tour option. You can explore each building on the hill, even the ones you would not normally be allowed to enter.

United States Capitol Building At Sunset, Washington Dc, Usa
United States Capitol Building At Sunset, Washington Dc, Usa

4. Tidal Basin

A virtual tour of the Tidal Basin will have you seeing the Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial in addition to the walking paths and the basin itself. You can also see the Reflecting Pool during this little tour.

The tidal basin in Washington DC with the Washington Monument in the distance.
The tidal basin in Washington DC with the Washington Monument in the distance.

5. Library of Congress

Anyone who loves to read will want to visit the Library of Congress in person, but since that is currently not possible, you must make do with a virtual tour. This is an amazing three hundred sixty-degree tour that will show you all the must-see details of this gorgeous building.

The Library of Congress in Washington, The library officially serves the U.S. Congress
The Library of Congress in Washington, The library officially serves the U.S. Congress

6. National Air and Space Museum

There are a couple different virtual tours through this museum, but a favorite is going to be the Out of This World Exhibit. Go back in time and see what you remember about space and those who explored it with this virtual tour.

Visitors enjoy The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.
Visitors enjoy The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.

These are some of the best virtual tours of areas throughout Washington DC, but you will find many more. I recommend starting with these and then checking to see if your favorite spot in DC has a virtual tour you could watch to see if anything changed.

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Covid 19 Cultural Tourist Attractions United States Virtual Tours

Take a Virtual Tour of These Historical Sites Around the US

You might not be able to travel from state to state right now, but that shouldn’t stop you from seeing some of the magnificent historical sites around the US from your home. A few simple keystrokes on your computer will have you seeing parts of buildings and landmarks you may have only dreamed about until now.

Virtual Tour of Historical Sites Around the US

1. The White House

The White House is a massive building that is full of history. While you cannot see everything inside the home of the President, you can see enough to keep your curiosity at bay. The rooms you will see on these virtual tours are the ones you would see during any of the public tours of this building.

Virtual Tour Historical Sites - The White House, Washington DC
The White House, Washington DC

2. Gettysburg

The war in Gettysburg was horrendous and the area is still much like it was all those years ago. You can listen to the same instructions you would receive if you were driving the battlefield route, plus you can see different panoramas during this virtual tour. Nothing compares to seeing this destination in person, but this is an excellent back-up plan.

Cannons and monuments in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Cannons and monuments in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

3. Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell can be found within Independence Hall in Philadelphia and it is one of the many historical attractions in the city. While a virtual tour of this bell will show you everything you need to know about its historical significance, it won’t get you close to a true Philly cheesesteak. Therefore, make sure you add this destination to your travel list soon!

Liberty Bell and Independence Hall in Philadelphia
Liberty Bell and Independence Hall in Philadelphia

4. Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore is currently open, but that doesn’t mean you can travel there to see it in person. If you want to see this massive carved mountain and really appreciate the intricate details that were included, you must take this virtual tour.

Virtual Tour of Historical Sites like Classic view of Mount Rushmore
Classic view of Mount Rushmore

5. Plymouth Rock

What may have seemed like an insignificant rock a few hundred years ago has turned into a historical site thanks to the pilgrims discovering Plymouth Colony back in 1620. You will see where the rock sits today, which is in the same location it was all those years ago. This was not always the case, because the rock was moved a couple times before, but it has always found its way home.

Portico around Plymouth rock- Plymouth, Massachusetts
Portico around Plymouth rock- Plymouth, Massachusetts

You don’t need to venture out your front door to see these historic sites in the US, thanks to these virtual tours. Watch at least one of them today and see where it takes you, because it may get your brain churning to create a travel bucket list, learn more about the specific area you just watched, or find a way to at least take a break from the show you have been binge-watching from the beginning.

Let us know if you knew the virtual tour of historical sites around the US or if you were completely surprised with this list.

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Covid 19 United States Virtual Tours

Trip to the National Parks Postponed? See Them Virtually!

Trips to the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and even Yellowstone are currently a thing of the past. However, that doesn’t mean you need to live without the beauty of these areas right now.

You can easily take a virtual tour of thirty-one of the national parks via Google Earth. Imagine seeing a few alligators within the Everglades, without risking your arm or leg, or gazing down deep into the Grand Canyon, without even leaving your bed. You can do all this and so much more through Google Earth’s virtual tours.

The Best Virtual Tours of National Parks

The Everglades

This virtual tour will have you seeing sights that include the Otter Cave Hammock Trail, Anhinga Trail, and Miccosukee Indian Village.

Grand Canyon National Park

Imagine lying in bed and seeing sights that include the Bright Angel Trailhead, Maricopa Point, and Hermit’s Rest. You definitely won’t regret spending some time looking at the canyon’s gorgeous views!

Toroweap point at sunrise, Grand Canyon National Park.
Toroweap point at sunrise, Grand Canyon National Park.

Yellowstone National Park

During the Yellowstone virtual tour, you can see the Norris Geyser Basin up close, as well as Old Faithful and the Grand Prismatic Spring.

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite is incredible, and you will love looking at Tunnel View, Sentinel Bridge, Yosemite Falls, and so much more during your virtual tour!

Redwood National Park

This virtual tour will have you wandering around Lady Bird Johnson Grove, stopping at the Big Tree Wayside, and even seeing how a car can fit through the Klamath Tour Thru Tree.

Sequoia vs Man. Giant Sequoias Forest and the tourist with backpack.
Sequoia vs Man. Giant Sequoias Forest and the tourist with backpack.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Laurel Falls Trail is the perfect place to start during a virtual tour of the Smoky Mountains. From there, you can continue on to the Noah “Bud” Ogle Cabin, Newfound Gap, and Mingus Mill. History abounds in this park and it all blends seamlessly with the natural surroundings.

Acadia National Park

This beautiful park in Maine is a must-see for everyone, but you will need to make do with a virtual tour for now. Start with Thunder Hole, before venturing on to Otter Cliff, Jordan Pond, and Cadillac Mountain. At that point, you may be hungry from all the views, so take a little time to relax with the beauty of Sand Beach, as you grab a bite to eat.

Arcadia National Park, Jordan Pond
Arcadia National Park, Jordan Pond

These are only a few of the many national parks you can tour virtually through Google Earth. We recommend that you start with these and then see where your virtual vacation takes you next!

Let me know when you book your next virtual tours of National Parks.

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France United States Virtual Tours

Disney Fans?? Check Out These Virtual Tours of Florida Theme Parks to Get Your Thrills at Home

You may not be able to spend hours riding the rides at your favorite Florida theme parks right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some thrills right from the comfort of your couch. Imagine taking virtual tours of your favorite theme parks and even experiencing a couple of the popular rides via video.

Virtual Tours of Florida Theme Parks to Get Your Thrills at Home

 

1. Walt Disney World

There are so many virtual tours of Walt Disney World, so be prepared to spend at least a day viewing them all. Just pretend you are at the physical parks and settle in for the ride! You can start at Magic Kingdom, work your way over to Hollywood Studios and end your time at Epcot. If you want to experience some of the rides, you can easily do a search on YouTube. A couple to get you started include Frozen Ever After and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Mickey Mouse at Disney World Tokyo.
Mickey Mouse at Disney World Tokyo.

2. LEGOLAND

LEGOLAND is gaining in popularity, so do not fret if you haven’t checked out this theme park as of yet. Check things out during a virtual tour, so you can be prepared when you go there in person. We recommend paying close attention to the Great LEGO Race, because it is a virtual reality option that you will want to enjoy once you can visit this park.

Visitors pass through the entrance to Legoland Florida in Winter Haven, FL.
Visitors pass through the entrance to Legoland Florida in Winter Haven, FL.

3. SeaWorld

A virtual tour of SeaWorld will have you wandering through the park from your living room, while also seeing everything Discovery Cove has to offer. Add in a thrilling virtual ride on the roller coaster, Mako, and you will forget you are not physically in this park by the end.

Panoramic view of SeaWorld sign in International Drive area.
Panoramic view of SeaWorld sign in International Drive area.

4. Universal Studios

Wandering around the two Universal Studios parks virtually, as well as the City Walk, will allow you to see every inch of the park. This is completely different from when you are there in person, because an in-person visit always has you missing some of the small, yet important, details.

HARRY POTTER UNIVERSAL STUDIOS WALK WITH DRAGON.
HARRY POTTER UNIVERSAL STUDIOS WALK WITH DRAGON.

5. Downtown Disney

Have you ever been to the Downtown Disney area? If you have been too busy wandering through the theme parks to give this area another thought, then you must check it out now. After all, you have the time, so you might as well take advantage of it!

Night view of the Disney Flagship Store at the Pudong New District (Lujiazui) in downtown. Shanghai is a popular tourist destination of Asia.
Night view of the Disney Flagship Store at the Pudong New District (Lujiazui) in downtown. Shanghai is a popular tourist destination of Asia.

These virtual tours of the theme parks down in Florida will allow you to experience thrills and adventures right from your home. Instead of spending your time wishing you can visit, use it wisely and see these parks up close now! Then imagine all the fun you will have when you finally visit later this year!

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China Covid 19 Cultural France Greece India New York Tourist Attractions United States Virtual Tours

Getting Travel Hungry? Check Out These Virtual Tours of Some Amazing Landmarks around the World

Not being able to travel is one of the worst things that can happen to some people. However, being stuck at home, or simply in one part of the world, for long periods of time doesn’t mean you need to miss out on all the incredible sights this world has to offer! Instead of only dreaming of when you can travel again, I recommend that you take a virtual tour of some of the best landmarks around the world.

Check Out These Virtual Tours of Some Amazing Landmarks around the World

1. Taj Mahal

As you probably know, the Taj Mahal is over in India and this gorgeous sight was constructed during the 17th century for the Emperor’s late wife. While the Taj Mahal is best seen in person, you will still find yourself breathless with all the intricate details you are seeing online.

The Taj Mahal in India.
The Taj Mahal in India.

2. Ellis Island

The only way to see Ellis Island in person is to take a ferry out during a tour of the island and the Statue of Liberty. This island is where immigrants arrived from 1892 and 1954 to start a new life in the United States. This virtual tour will allow you to see where these immigrants spent their time shortly after they arrived and all the history that was made since then.

Virtual tour of Ellis Island & Downtown Manhattan, New York.
Ellis Island & Downtown Manhattan, New York.

3. Palace of Versailles

There are many castles and palaces around the world, but this is one of the best in the country of France. The elegant building is matched with picture perfect grounds and you can see it all during this tour. Pay close attention to the highlights of this tour, which includes the Coronation Chamber, Royal Chapel, and the Hall of Mirrors.

VERSAILLES, FRANCE - The Royal Palace in Versailles.
VERSAILLES, FRANCE – The Royal Palace in Versailles.

4. The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China has been in place for more than two thousand years now and continues along three thousand miles of land. While you can see it while visiting many different areas of China, this virtual tour will have you seeing it during a hike from Jinshanling to Simatai.

The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China

5. Acropolis

The Acropolis has been part of Greek history for so many years now and while it has been restored wonderfully, it is still showing its age. If you have never seen this magnificent attraction in person, you must take a virtual tour to see why you must add it to your list when you start to travel once again.

The Acropolis of Athens, Greece virtual tour
The Acropolis of Athens, Greece, with the Parthenon Temple on top of the hill during a summer sunset. Greece is currently open to American tourists.

These are only some of the landmarks around the world that you can take a virtual tour of. A little research will have you finding more, so make sure you share your favorites with me in the comments!

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Covid 19 Cultural Fun United States Virtual Tours

Love Animals? Check Out These Virtual Tours of Zoos and Aquariums to See Animals Up Close

Seeing the animals playing and running around at a zoo, or swimming around at an aquarium, is a lot of fun. This is why these types of attractions are popular for vacations, as well as ordinary days if you live close enough to one. Are you currently missing out on all your furry, and slimy, friends?
Well, you do not need to go without your favorite animal fix, because many of the zoos and aquariums are offering virtual tours, or at least animal cams, to allow you to watch these animals from your home.

Check Out These Virtual Tours of Zoos and Aquariums to See Animals Up Close

1. Smithsonian Zoo

The Smithsonian Zoo in Washington DC has five different animal cams for you to watch any time you wish. The animals you can see include lions, pandas, elephants, naked mole-rats, and the newest additions of cheetah cubs.

Amur tiger at Smithsonian Zoo in Washington DC.
Amur tiger at Smithsonian Zoo in Washington DC.

2. Zoo Atlanta

The zoo in Atlanta also has a giant panda camera that you can watch while you are stuck at home, so you can always tune in there to see if those pandas are doing anything different than the ones in DC.

Entrance to Zoo Atlanta. The zoo houses more than 1,500 animals and welcomed roughly 866,000 visitors a year.
Entrance to Zoo Atlanta. The zoo houses more than 1,500 animals and welcomed roughly 866,000 visitors a year.

3. Georgia Aquarium

The Georgia Aquarium has many different live cameras for you to watch, so you will feel as if you are right inside without leaving your home. In addition to seeing beluga whales, you can see jellyfish, sea otters, piranhas, and alligators.

 The Georgia Aquarium facade at night in Atlanta, Georgia. The boat shaped landmark is the world's largest aquarium with more than 8 million gallons of water.
The Georgia Aquarium facade at night in Atlanta, Georgia. The boat shaped landmark is the world’s largest aquarium with more than 8 million gallons of water.

4. San Diego Zoo

Out of all the zoos streaming live camera feeds, San Diego Zoo has the most. You could honestly sit in one spot all day long, as you switch between apes, baboons, condors, elephants, giraffes, koalas, owls, pandas, penguins, polar bears, and tigers.

Tourists and locals just in front the main entrance of San Diego Zoo in California, USA.
Tourists and locals just in front the main entrance of San Diego Zoo in California, USA.

5. National Aquarium

It is easy to go floor by floor throughout this amazing aquarium in Baltimore. There’s even easy to follow instructions you can use to make the most out of this virtual tour. If you are interested in one part of the aquarium over the rest, feel free to check out the scene section to choose your favorite.

Long exposure of the Waterfront Promenade and the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland.
Long exposure of the Waterfront Promenade and the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland.

6. Monterey Bay Aquarium

There are many different live cams to watch during a virtual tour of this aquarium, so you can watch everything from birds and jellyfish to sea otters and penguins. However, I feel like your favorite camera view will be the ones that share the sharks swimming around.

Monterey bay aquarium building.
Monterey bay aquarium building.

This will get you started on loving your favorite animals again, while you discover new zoos and aquariums to visit in the future! Check these virtual tours and live cams out now and then let me know if you are aware of any others that are keeping you busy watching animals during these longer days!

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Covid 19 Tourist Attractions United States

Reopening Plans for Walt Disney World Hotels and Theme Parks

The rides at all the Walt Disney theme parks in Florida have been quiet for the last few months, while the animals over at Animal Kingdom have been missing their guest friends. There was a time when reopening plans were up in the air, but now, Disney has a plan so everyone can make magical Disney moments once again!

Beautiful sunset sky day with flying air balloon in Lake Buena Vista.
Beautiful sunset sky day with flying air balloon in Lake Buena Vista.

The current reopening plans will need to be approved prior to the July 11th and July 15th opening dates. However, since Disney has already successfully opened its Shanghai Disney Resort, as well as Disney Springs, they are sure their plan will be approved.

The first part of the reopening plan will have fewer guests within the parks and none of the parades or fireworks will be happening for a while. Character meets will not exist in the near future and neither will the popular makeovers. That doesn’t mean guests won’t see their favorite characters though. It just means the experience will be a little different!

Amazing view of Manta Ray Rollercoaster at Sea World Theme Park at Sea World in International Drive area.
Amazing view of Manta Ray Rollercoaster at Sea World Theme Park at Sea World in International Drive area.

In order to keep the number of guests lower, everyone will need to make a reservation to enter the park of their choice. New ticket sales and reservations will be unavailable for some time, so those that already have tickets will be allowed access first. Once those who have tickets, as well as annual passholders have had their chance to secure their reservations, new ticket sales will be available on a limited basis.

All the Disney Vacation Club Resorts in Orlando, as well as the Disney Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, will be opening to guests on June 22nd. Social distancing measures have been put in place, as have extensive cleaning and safety measures.

A family heads to the entrance of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
A family heads to the entrance of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Disney is looking forward to welcoming guests back into their parks and hotels once again. While they have not released the reservation system as of yet, they state it will be available shortly.

Disney does want guests to understand that everyone ages three and up will be required to wear masks while visiting the theme parks and in the common areas of all the hotels. There will also be a temperature check station for all guests entering the theme parks.

Everyone will be asked to consider cashless transactions and cleaning will take place in between customers. All high-traffic areas will be cleaned continuously throughout the day as well.

Entrance Arch of Walt Disney Theme Parks at Lake Buena Vista area.
Entrance Arch of Walt Disney Theme Parks at Lake Buena Vista area.

Disney does not have all their new health and safety measures ready for release yet, but they will be releasing them shortly as well. Until that time, everyone can enjoy everything that is open within Disney Springs. Guests should not worry, because all these new guidelines will be in place, and in force, prior to the theme park openings in July.

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Cruising Hawaii United States

4 benefits of cruising around Hawaii with Norwegian’s Pride of America

Hawaii is on the top of everyone’s list of dream destinations and one of the best ways for you to see these islands is by taking a cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines. You will board Norwegian’s Pride of America in Honolulu and then see four of the Hawaiian Islands over the next seven days.

Cruising around Hawaii

Built in the US and operated by Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL), MS Pride of America is a cruise ship that sails around the Hawaiian Islands.
Built in the US and operated by Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL), MS Pride of America is a cruise ship that sails around the Hawaiian Islands.

Here are 4 benefits of cruising around Hawaii with Norwegian’s Pride of America:

  1. 100 Hours in Port – Most cruise lines spend limited hours in port, but the Pride of America will keep you in port for as long as possible, including two overnights. This gives you more time to explore the islands instead of worrying about rushing back in time for your departure.
  2. On Board Entertainment – When you are on the ship, you are guaranteed to have authentic Hawaiian entertainment. Activities will include hula and lei making classes and there will be Aloha Polynesian shows.
  3. Freestyle Dining – You never need to choose a time for dinner when cruising with Norwegian, instead you can simply dine when you are hungry. You can choose to eat early one evening and later the next night. The choice is yours, which is a perfect match to the laidback style of the Hawaiian Islands.
  4. Sail Year-Round – This ship will sail year-round in Hawaii, so you will never need to wait for it to be the season for cruising. You can simply book the time of the year that works best for your schedule.

While you are cruising Hawaii with Norwegian’s Pride of America, there are many things that you must-do on each island.

Maui

  1. Old Lahaina Luau – This is a traditional luau that every first-time Maui visitor must experience. You will dine on kalua pua’a, mahi-mahi, and poi while watching performers hula and firedance. The entire experience lasts approximately three hours, but the memories will last a lifetime.
  2. Drive the Road to Hana – This scenic road is the most popular attraction on the entire island, and it is impossible to stop everywhere unless you are spending a night or two along the way. A few of the best stops include the Garden of Eden, Honomanu Bay Lookout, Keanae Peninsula and Village, Upper Waikani, Waianapanapa State Wayside Park, Wailua Falls, and Oheo Gulch at Kipahulu.
  3. Summit of Haleakala Volcano – Once you reach the top of Haleakala Volcano, you will become overwhelmed with everything you are seeing and experiencing. The views are stunning, and you will find yourself perplexed as to whether you should stay there longer or wander along the hiking trails to explore a little more.
The Old Lahaina Luau is one of Maui's best Luaus.
The Old Lahaina Luau is one of Maui’s best Luaus.

Big Island

  1. Volcanoes National Park – This park is where volcanoes Kīlauea and Mauna Loa can be found, and these active volcanoes are being preserved and observed here. Kīlauea is continuing to erupt at the summit and on the sides, but it has stopped near the ocean at the moment.
  2. Akaka Falls – If you do not wish to visit the volcanoes when you are on your cruise, you may be interested in Akaka Falls instead. You will need to hike through a beautiful rainforest filled with wild orchids, bamboo groves, and ferns to reach the Akaka Falls that rush 442 feet into the gorge below. You won’t be able to do both the volcanoes and the falls during your Norwegian cruise, but if you are in Maui on your own, you will want to take the time to do both.
  3. Kona – A day of relaxation can be found in Kona, where you can sit on the beach, shop in the boutiques, and venture out in the water for some snorkeling in Kailua Bay.
Aerial Drone Shot view of Akaka Falls in Hawaii Big Island Natinal Park.
Aerial Drone Shot view of Akaka Falls in Hawaii Big Island Natinal Park.

Kauai

  1. Waimea Canyon – It is possible to drive to the canyon from port, but you might want to consider seeing this attraction from a more unique perspective. A helicopter tour will allow you to see the island and the canyon from above. That view will allow you to see more of the ten-mile length and 3,600-foot depth of the canyon as well as the beautiful colors and waterfalls.
  2. Hanalei Bay – The three beach parks that are in Hanalei Bay are surrounded by massive mountains, so you may find yourself sitting in the sand and staring out in the distance at them. The favorite beach is Hanalei Beach Park Pavilion, which is in the heart of Hanalei Bay and right under mountains lined with spectacular waterfalls.
  3. Poipu Beach – If you have time before heading back to the Pride of America, you will want to stop at Poipu Beach to enjoy the crystal-clear water and white sand. While the beach is beautiful, you may enjoy shopping in the small town even more.
  4. Cruise Past the Na’Pali Coast – You will want to be out on the deck of the ship when you cruise past this world wonder of cliffs that drop straight down for thousands of feet into the ocean.
Stunning aerial view into Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii.
Stunning aerial view into Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii.

Oahu

  1. Waikiki Beach – There are eight sections to this famous beach and each one has its own qualities. Some of them are better for surfing, while some are less crowded than others.
  2. Diamond Head – The views from the top of the Diamond Head monument are spectacular, so you will want to take the time to fit this into your schedule. The trail can be steep, especially at the end, and it can take up to two hours round trip to complete, so plan your day carefully.
  3. Snorkel at Hanauma Bay – This bay is within a volcanic cone, so you will be snorkeling with marine life in a very unique setting.
  4. Visit the North Shore Beaches – There are plenty of beaches on the north shore for you to visit for swimming and snorkeling. The more popular ones include Haleiwa Beach, Waimea Beach, Ke Waena Beach, and Sunset Beach.
  5. Dole Pineapple Plantation – If you have ever wondered where the pineapple that you eat comes from, then you are going to want to visit the Dole Pineapple Plantation and take one of their tours. The Pineapple Express Train Tour and Plantation Garden Tour will allow you to see the entire plantation and you can even taste some of the yummy pineapple before you leave.
  6. Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona – This is an attraction that you might want to consider visiting when you arrive in Honolulu in the morning before you board your cruise ship. You’ll be awake early anyway, so you will be one of the first ones in line and will beat the crowds. Your experience will begin at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center before continuing to the USS Arizona Memorial site. The boat tour lasts approximately 75 minutes and you will be taken out to where the battleship will forever remain.
cruising around Hawaii - Honolulu, Hawaii. Waikiki beach and Honolulu's skyline.
Honolulu, Hawaii. Waikiki beach and Honolulu’s skyline.

If you have wanted to visit Hawaii, but weren’t sure how, then Norwegian’s Pride of America is your answer.  You can cruise when you want and have the time to see as much of the islands as you can instead of rushing around and seeing very little.  It is the perfect solution for your Hawaiian vacation!

Are you excited to cruising around Hawaii? Let me know your thoughts.