Month: December 2013

Destination Spotlight: Colorado Springs

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Nestled at the foot of Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs has come a long way from its mining town days. With a population of 416,427 as of the 2010 Census, it is the second most populous city in the state of Colorado, behind Denver, and the 41st most populous city in the United States. The city covers 194.7 square miles, making it Colorado’s largest city in area. With the city’s location close to the Rocky Mountains, it is a popular destination for visitors, offering a multitude of trails, parks, and open spaces. They include Pikes Peak, Seven Falls, and Cave of the Winds, to name a few.

Colorado Springs has more than 55 attractions and activities to offer visitors. They include the ProRodeo Hall of Fame & Museum of the American Cowboy, Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, the American Numismatic Association Money Museum, Peterson Air and Space Museum, and the Cheyenne Mountain Heritage Center.

The city thrives on culture, with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and Pikes Peak Center for performing arts. But there’s even more to attract and hold visitors’ attention. One of the nation’s three U.S. Olympic Training Centers is located here, where visitors can watch top athletes in action. Another world-class attraction is the U.S. Air Force Academy, an elite military training academy located just north of the city. You can visit several areas of the academy, including the Cadet Chapel and the Honor Court.

One of the nation’s most beautiful city parks, Garden of the Gods, is nestled in the foothills of Pikes Peak. The stunning red rock formations draw tourists to try and capture their beauty.

If you want to take a break from the outdoors, then check out Colorado Springs Downtown, the oldest part of the original city, which has many shops and interesting buildings, including the city’s oldest high rises. The Lon Chaney Theater, housed in the Colorado Springs City Auditorium, is another must-see on the National Register of Historic Places. The Pioneers Museum, originally the county courthouse, offers an extensive collection of early city history. Giuseppe’s Depot Restaurant is an eatery located in the historic downtown 1880s railroad depot. The Pikes Peak Center houses traveling and local musical and theatrical performances. Just south of downtown is the Bristol Brewing Company, a prized microbrewery that offers tours and tastings.

Then there is Old Colorado City, a National Historic District with many art galleries and boutiques. It is home to the Michael Garman Museum, which housed Magic Town, a 3,000-square-foot sculptural theater paying homage to Garman since 1975. One of the country’s many Carnegie Libraries is located here as well. Tourist attractions north of Old Colorado City include Flying W Ranch, a cowboy ranch. The Old North End of the city is home to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, the American Numismatic Association, and Colorado College. The Van Briggle Pottery kiln works, founded in 1899 and specializing in art nouveau vases and decorative tiles, was originally housed here in a building now owned by Colorado College.

Visiting New York for the winter holidays

The state of New York offers so much to do. With its great cities such as New York City, Buffalo and Rochester and its man outdoor opportunities New York is a vacationers playground.

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New York has many state parks and preserves including the Adirondack Park, the Catskill Park and the Montauk Point State Park with the Montauk Lighthouse. During the summer the weather is mild and the winter is very cold. These areas have surrounding camping, hiking, wildlife resorts, lodges and accommodations. The Hudson River runs through New York, and has many landmarks including West Point, Home of Franklin D Roosevelt National Historic Site, Bard College, Thayer Hotel, Bannerman’s Castle, the Hudson River Islands State Park, and home of the Hudson River School art movement. The Hudson River School painters captured the natural beauty of this area. Houses of the painters can be visited as well. Travel in this area can be done by car or boat through the New York State Canal System. New York also offers several beaches near New York City and along the Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.  The popular beach areas like the Hamptons, Oyster Beach, Rochester, Buffalo and Irving have many restaurants, bars and beach resort, beach club accommodations.

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New York is the 3rd most populated state in the US. New York City megalopolis is a world-class city. New York City has many famous attractions such as The Statue of Liberty, the Ne York Stock Exchange, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Central Park, Empire State Building, Ground Zero, Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, Broadway, as well as, endless shopping, art galleries, restaurants, people watching and many unique neighborhoods like Chinatown and West Village. New York City is home to the New York Mets, New York Yankees, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and more sports teams.  Buffalo in upstate NEW York is another popular city- it is near Niagra Falls, has great buffalo wings, great hotels and shopping and during the winter seasons becomes a winter wonderland of sledding and snow activities.

New York has man large chain hotels and resorts especially in the metro areas. In the country are many remote lodges. Upstate Lake Pleasant areas offer several lodges and resorts such as Lake Placid Lodge.  This area also has ski areas such as Whiteface Mountain.

New York State has a lot of locally grown organic foods such as blueberries, apples, beans, greens and wine.  Butcher shops still exist commonly in New York with fresh local meat.  Western New York makes Buffalo wings and Weck Sandwiches. New York city is a mecca of fine dining, diners, bakeries, bagels & coffee chops, new york pizza and hot dogs and street food vendors- when deciding where to eat in the city it is best to keep your budget in mind.

Travelling in New York can be done by air, car, bus or train. In state travel is best by train if you don’t want to take on the weather. Major New York airports include John F Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Greater Rochester International, Syracuse Hancock International Airport, Plattsburg International Airport, Stewart International Airport, Albany International Airport and Buffalo Niagra International Airport.