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Things to Do in USA - page 3

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Red Rock State Park
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With stunning views of soaring, deep red cliffs everywhere you look, Red Rock State Park is truly a sight for sore eyes. Trails slice through this 286-acre nature preserve, winding through manzanita juniper and eventually leading to the banks of Oak Creek. The creek crawls its way through the park, creating the rich setting of abundant vegetation and diverse wildlife.

An afternoon spent hiking along the park's copious trails is the perfect way to enjoy Arizona's scenic natural beauty. The park's visitor center offers numerous daily activities for guests, including bird walks, nature walks, and various naturalist activities. Anyone who considers themselves a lover of the great outdoors will definitely want to make a stop by Red Rock State Park to see the gorgeous diversity in landscape and wildlife that the desert has to offer.

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Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon
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The Old Exchange is considered to be one of the most historically significant buildings in the United States. The structure was completed in 1771 and quickly became a prominent commercial and cultural center with the expansion of Charleston’s port and import/export trade. It is the former site of banquets held by George Washington, and where the Declaration of Independence was first read aloud to South Carolinians. It was here that the Constitution of South Carolina was ratified. Today it’s a living museum where Charleston colonial and Revolutionary history comes to life, with costumed docents on each of the three floors.

Charleston is known for being a haunted city, and underneath its most prominent public building is the Provost Dungeon—rumored to be haunted by the ghosts of its former prisoners. The dungeon predates the Old Exchange building by nearly a century, and visitors can still see what’s left of the original city wall of “Charles Town.”

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Savannah River Street
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River Street Savannah is not only a picturesque place to walk or jog along the river, but is also a hub of activity in downtown Savannah. Known for dreamy views of the river, its tree-lined promenade, and its strip of shops and restaurants, visitors to Savannah come here to get a sense of what Savannah has to offer. Whether it be a ferry boat ride along the winding Savannah River, a concert in the park, or just to sample some of the many local Savannah restaurants boasting delicious southern fare, the River Street is where you head if you want the authentic Savannah experience.

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Brooklyn Bridge
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New York's most famous bridge crosses the East River from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Taking a walk across this historic suspension bridge is a must-do NYC activity, with fabulous views on every side.

Built in the 1870s and '80s, the Brooklyn Bridge was one of the first suspension bridges to be constructed in the USA. At the time, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. The soaring Gothic towers at either end are particularly dramatic when floodlit at night, their tall elongated arches an iconic New York sight.

Check out the observation points under the support towers, with panoramic illustrations depicting the history of New York's waterfront, then stay on to watch as the city lights of Manhattan and Brooklyn switch on at dusk.

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Empire State Building
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When it comes to buildings, New York's Empire State Building is top of the heap. The 102-story iconic skyscraper, completed in 1931, is not only an architectural wonder but it offers wondrous 360-degree views of Gotham from its two observation decks. Glass-enclosed high-speed elevators shuttle visitors to both decks, where high-powered binoculars allow for zeroing in on favorite New York attractions from above. The art deco skyscraper stands at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and W. 34th St.
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Navy Pier
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Chicago's most-visited tourist attraction, Navy Pier will certainly blow the minds of children younger than twelve. The pier's Chicago Children's Museum, plus a collection of high-tech rides, hands-on fountains, kid-focused educational exhibits, fast-food restaurants, and trinket vendors will transport your child into the kind of overstimulated, joyful state you haven't witnessed since you finally gave in and got them a puppy for their birthday last year.

For the adults, Navy Pier's charms revolve around the lakefront views, cool breezes, and a ride on the gigantic Ferris wheel. The carousel is another classic, with bobbing carved horses and organ music. You can also hop on afternoon or evening boat cruises from here.

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Joseph Manigault House
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This historic Charleston home, now part of the Charleston Museum, is a well-preserved example of Federal architecture of great historical and cultural significance to the city. It was built in 1803 by architect Gabriel Manigault for his brother Joseph, a rice baron and a figurehead of Charleston society at that time. The three-story townhouse is now a National Historic Landmark, showcasing the wealthy family’s 19th century urban lifestyle.

Walking into the home’s central hall, the towering spiral staircase and crystal chandelier make an immediate impression. The rooms maintain their period style and elegance, decorated in a combination of English, French and American styles with brightly colored walls and antique furnishings throughout. From the outside, one can admire the home’s brick facade and Gate Temple, with a well-tended period garden. Beside the house, the historical foundations of the estate’s former kitchen, slave quarters and privy are waiting to be explored.

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Fort Lauderdale Beachfront
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Featuring over 23 miles (37 kilometers) of pristine beach, visitors will have plenty of opportunities to swim and sunbathe. The Fort Lauderdale beachfront offers a wide number of experiences, like wind surfing, jet skiing, boating, snorkeling, deep sea fishing and scuba diving. If you’d rather stay on land, jogging, cycling, rollerblading and beach sports like volleyball and Frisbee are worthwhile beachfront options.

Spend some time in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, known for its scuba diving offerings and pier where you can watch fishermen reeling in fresh catch. Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is another top experience when exploring Fort Lauderdale’s beachfront, and can be accessed via the pedestrian tunnel under A1A. This park has a tropical-feel and offers chances to kayak, fish and cycle. And of course, visiting the beaches themselves is a must, like the family-friendly Deerfield Beach, trendy Fort Lauderdale Beach and adventure-focused Hallandale Beach.

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Belle Meade Plantation
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Step back into the Old South and get a feel for what it might have been like to live on a plantation in the 1800s. Located 6 miles (9.5 kilometers) west of Nashville, the Belle Meade Plantation is a historic plantation mansion whose grounds now function as a museum.

First bought in 1806, and continually expanded throughout the 19th century, the Belle Meade Plantation became world renowned as a first-rate horse breeding establishment. Buyers from around the world flocked to the plantation for its annual yearling sales, hoping to purchase one of their champion thoroughbred horses. A tour of the mansion reveals Belle Meade's rich history and offers insight into the distinct Southern culture of the Antebellum and Reconstruction eras.

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More Things to Do in USA

Aiken-Rhett House

Aiken-Rhett House

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For an evocative glimpse into antebellum plantation life in South Carolina, visit the Aiken-Rhett House in Charleston. The only surviving urban plantation, the 1818 townhouse complex has changed little since it was expanded in 1858. The rooms are decorated with the fine art and furnishings purchased by the owners more than 150 years ago.

A tour of the mansion takes you through the home's very own art gallery, dining room and parlors. The carriage house and kitchen at the rear of the mansion were slave quarters, and are amongst the best preserved examples in the region.

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Manhattan Skyline

Manhattan Skyline

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The skyline of New York City has starred in hundreds of movies, making it one of the most iconic man-made landscapes in the world. And while the former World Trade Center once stood as the defining image of this electric city, today’s landscape has shifted slightly—though it remains just as memorable.

Travelers who wander the Big Apple’s crowded streets will find themselves at the foot of dozens of architectural landmarks—from the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building to the sky-high spire of Freedom Tower. It’s easy to marvel from the pavement, but visitors who want to experience the skyline in all its wonder need explore beyond the sidewalks.

Travelers looking to go all out can fly high above the city in one of the popular and grand helicopter tours. But there are still plenty of options for those on a budget.

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Grant Park

Grant Park

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Proudly referred to as Chicago's "front yard," Grant Park is home to three world-class museums - the Art Institute, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Shedd Aquarium - as well as the Museum Campus, a 1995 transformation of paved areas into beautiful greenspace. It’s also among the city's loveliest and most prominent parks.

Centered between the sparkling blue waters of Lake Michigan to the east and Chicago’s stunning skyline to the west, Grant Park is a lovely open space with walking paths, elm trees, and formal rose gardens.Grant Park's centerpiece is the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain, built in 1927 to provide a monumental focal point while protecting the park's breathtaking lakefront views.

Throughout the summer, Grant Park is also the site of many of the city’s largest outdoor events, including the annual Taste of Chicago, the Lollapalooza music festival, and Chicago Jazz Festival.

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Hell's Revenge Trail

Hell's Revenge Trail

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With its steep climbs and deep descents, the Hell’s Revenge Trail offers some of the best views of the Colorado River, La Sal Mountains, Negro Bill Canyon, and the Abyss Canyon. At nearly 7.5 miles long, the challenging trail loops through the sandstone and slickrock of the scenic Moab Valley. It takes those brave enough to walk its roller coaster track through narrow canyons, Navajo sandstone formations, and vast pools of water. Views are often exceptional.

Steep hills and tight turns keep visitors to this trail on edge (literally). Names of spots such as Devil’s Driveway, Hell’s Gate, the Tip Over Challenge, and the Escalator, this trail is not for the faint of heart — but those adventurous enough to take it on will be rewarded with sweeping views of the surrounding natural scenery.

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Trans-Alaska Pipeline Viewpoint

Trans-Alaska Pipeline Viewpoint

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The Trans-Alaska Pipeline is a 48-inch oil pipeline that traverses 800 miles (1,300 kilometers). It was built by the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company in 1977 to transport crude oil from Prudhoe Bay’s oil fields to a port in Valdez to be loaded onto tankers and shipped to U.S. refiners. The cost to construct the pipeline was $8 billion, making it one of the largest privately-funded construction projects in Alaska. Moreover, it’s one of the largest pipeline systems in the world, and because much of the ground that it is laid on is frozen sections of the pipeline are either built above ground or buried and insulated.

It’s astonishing that the pipe has withstood the harsh Alaska weather for so long. Today, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline is a popular tourist attraction, especially for those who want to get a photograph of themselves touching it.

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Marina City

Marina City

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Ryman Auditorium

Ryman Auditorium

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The historic home of the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium is one of the must see sites that makes Music City famous. Built in 1892 (and initially serving as a tabernacle) it was used for the Opry broadcasts from 1943 until 1974. After the Opry moved to a larger venue, the Ryman sat largely unused until it was reopened as a performance hall and museum in 1994.

Today, the Ryman is a popular 2,362-seat live performance venue as well as a National Historic Landmark. Both country music stars and legends in other genres have graced the Ryman stage throughout its long and proud history. Among the many notable stars to have performed there include Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, and Patsy Kline.

Taking a tour of the Ryman allows you to walk in the same steps of music royalty, seeing the backstage area and dressing rooms that hosted these many stars.

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The Breakers

The Breakers

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You’ll find it hard not to be impressed at the opulence of The Breakers, the crown jewel of the Newport cottages. The 70-room four-story mansion was the summer estate of Cornelius Vanderbilt II, the grandson of railroad tycoon Commodore Vanderbilt. The grand structure, built in 1895, was designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt, who modeled it after 16th-century Italian Renaissance palaces.

Vanderbilt spared no expense in designing this lavish Guilded Age temple, installing a high entrance gate that weighs over 7 tons, using gold leaf and rare marble, and bringing in painters from Europe to create mural-size baroque paintings. Inside, all the furnishings on view are original. Outside, open-air terraces give way to breathtaking ocean views.

The Preservation Society of Newport County purchased the house in 1972, and today it is a National Historic Landmark.

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San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

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Packed into 40 hectares, the San Diego Zoo presents a stunning variety of nature's largest, smallest, noblest, oddest, and most endangered creatures. This famous zoo has more than 3,000 animals representing over 800 species.

Stop first at the San Diego Zoo visitor center to pick up a map. Highlights of the zoo include the Tiger River bioclimatic exhibit, which realistically recreates an Asian rainforest environment, and Gorilla Tropics, which does the same with an African rainforest. The koalas and the rare giant pandas are also popular.

The gardens at the San Diego Zoo are renowned and some of the plants are used for the specialized food requirements of particular animals. Especially for kids, the Children’s Zoo allows young ones to pet small critters; they will also enjoy the animal nursery, which shows off the zoo’s newest arrivals. For an aerial perspective on the park, take a ride on the Skyfari.

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Little Havana

Little Havana

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A vibrant Hispanic culture permeates everything in Little Havana - colorful murals, monuments to heroes past and present, elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, and cigar rollers deeply at work amidst Little Havana’s ever-present aroma of Cuban coffee. These scenes of daily Little Havana life play out amidst a backdrop of Little Havana’s pulsating music, vibrant storefronts, unique art galleries and quaint restaurants.

The neighborhood’s colorful spirit unfolds on Calle Ocho, Little Havana’s bustling main street, packed with shops and restaurants. Farther down Calle Ocho, between SW 15th and 17th avenues, the Arts District contains a string of studios and galleries that showcase some of the best Latin American art in the country. Nearby, the Bay of Pigs Museum & Library enshrines the crew of the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion. The two blocks SW 13th street, south of Calle Ocho, contain a series of monuments of Cuban patriots and freedom fighters.

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Tribune Tower

Tribune Tower

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Standing tall above Michigan Avenue, the Tribune Tower is a Chicago Landmark home to the city’s newspaper The Chicago Tribune, as well as the media studios and radio stations of the Tribune. It was built as the result on an international design competition in 1922, which called for the best designed office building in exchange for prize money. Built in neo-Gothic style, it stands at 462 feet in height. The top of the tower was modeled after the Tour de beurre, or butter tower, of the Rouen Cathedral in France, though the building has even more interesting international roots.

Before the structure was built, Chicago Tribune reporters began bringing back pieces of rock from important landmarks around the world. As a result, there are small bits of buildings like the Taj Mahal, the Parthenon, the Great Pyramid, the Hagia Sofia, Angkor Wat and even the Great Wall of China embedded in the lower levels.

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Chicago Cultural Center

Chicago Cultural Center

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The Chicago Cultural Center is one of the city’s architectural gems. Though it doesn’t tower over the streets like the Willis Tower, it’s an equally impressive building, renowned for its opulent interiors and two dazzlingly beautiful stained glass domes. Built in 1897 as Chicago’s first public library, the Cultural Center is now home to the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture, the Chicago Children’s Choir and several galleries. It hosts nearly 1,000 free cultural programs per year, including concerts, plays, art exhibits, film screenings and lectures. It was designated a Chicago Landmark in 1976, and is considered to be the most comprehensive free municipal cultural venue in the country.
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Chicago Board of Trade Building

Chicago Board of Trade Building

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In a city of skyscrapers, the Chicago Board of Trade Building stands out. Its history dates back to 1821, though the structure standing today was erected in 1930. Built for the Chicago Board of Trade, today it still serves as a center of Chicago’s financial district as the trading venue for the derivatives exchange. It stood at the tallest building in Chicago for many years. Today it remains a gateway to the city’s financial district.

The traditional art deco architecture draws tourists to the Chicago Board of Trade Building. A three-story statue of Ceres, the goddess of agriculture, stands atop the building on a copper pyramid, drawing visitors from all over the city to see the exquisite craftsmanship. The 6,500 pound Ceres represents the time when agriculture ruled Chicago. The 12-story building has a 19,000 square foot trading floor. Statues adorn the building, each of which tells a different story of the type of work that goes on inside.

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Adventuredome

Adventuredome

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Adventuredome is America’s largest indoor theme park, and is situated within the Circus Circus resort in Las Vegas. The park is connected to the hotel via a large glass dome, and features various rides and attractions, from huge roller coaster rides to family friendly games and activities. One of Adventuredome’s most popular rides is the Canyon Blaster, the world's only indoor double-loop, double-corkscrew roller coaster, which reaches speeds of up to 55mph. Other attractions include a pirate ship, slingshot, bumper cars, video arcades, rock climbing, FX movies, and clown shows. Because the park is all located inside, it is not affected by the weather and is open all year round. In October, the Adventuredome transforms into ‘Fright Dome’ – an alternative Halloween-themed park.

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