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Castle Clinton :: Manhattan, New York

June 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Landmarks

Castle Clinton. Wait, you mean they even have a castle? Well, no. The Clinton honored in this naming was DeWitt Clinton; mayor of New York City from 1803 to 1815 and governor of New York State from 1817 to 1822 and 1825 to 1828. In admiration of his service to the state, a sandstone fort built to protect the United States from the British in the War of 1812 was named in his honor. Actually completed in 1811, it was constructed on a man made island off the coast of Manhattan. Despite its original (and obvious purpose) Castle Clinton never saw a single battle. Well not a war based one, anyway. Read more

Castillo de San Marcos :: St. Augustine, Florida

May 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Landmarks

Arguably the oldest city in the United States, St. Augustine, Florida is home to some of the oldest buildings in the country. Among these is one incredibly cool and interesting Spanish fort. Construction started on the Castillo de San Marcos in 1672 on the instruction of the Queen of Spain after several wooden forts that originally stood there had been continually sacked. This new fort was made of a unique local stone called coquina. Similar to limestone, it insured that this fortification would endure any future barrage. After 23 years, this magnificent masonry star fort was completed and ready to defend the Spanish territory in the New World. Read more

Hearst Castle :: San Simeon, California

May 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Landmarks

Although the United States has never been a monarchy, there have been some truly royal residents. Among the most renowned was the media tycoon, William Randolph Hearst. Although he died nearly six decades ago, the impact he left is still being felt today. One of his biggest and most beautiful imprints is on the central coast of California. The amazingly ornate Hearst Castle was constructed over a period of nearly 30 years (from 1919 to 1947) and was the pinnacle of social invitations even before it was finished. Also known as La Cuesta Encantada (The Enchanted Slope) and San Simeon (after the area in California it’s located in) Hearst Castle easily rivals the grandest palaces of Europe. Among its many attributes, some of the original features Read more

Russell Cave :: Bridgeport, Alabama

May 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Landmarks

In a small corner of northeastern Alabama, just a breath south of Tennessee is a nondescript cave that played home to human kind for ten millennia. Russell Cave, named after Revolutionary War hero Thomas Russell who owned the land when the area was first mapped, is one of the more historically fascinating and underappreciated national parks in the United States. Averaging just a little over 20,000 visitors a year, this natural wonder is rife with ancient archeological treasures. The first official excavations of Russell Cave were begun in 1953 and since then thousands of pounds of artifacts have been unearthed revealing Read more

Grandfather Mountain :: Linville, North Carolina

May 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Landmarks

If you ever need a dose of breathtaking nature, look no further than Grandfather Mountain, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. This state park in Linville, N.C., boasts one amazing view for those who aren’t afraid of heights. Grandfather Mountain is famous for it’s Mile High Swinging Bridge, aptly named because it sways at 5,280 feet above sea level over an 80-foot wide gorge. It is America’s highest suspension foot bridge. When walking across the 228-foot Mile High Swinging Bridge, you are guaranteed to feel a thrill as you take each step. Being a suspension bridge, Mile High sways and Read more

Adirondack State Park :: New York

April 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Landmarks

Here is one place that even people from New York have little idea exists. Adirondack State Park is the largest park in the contiguous United States by far. The park is 9,375 square miles in area; approximately the size of the state of Vermont. It was known to the Iroquois as “Bark-eater area”, probably due to the vast number of beavers and other types of tree eaters. To try to understand the size of the area encompassed and (all with-in the state of New York) you really have to see it to believe it. An entire third of the whole state is a national park! The size of Adirondack State Park exceeds the five next biggest national parks in the United States combined. Often called the Blue Line, the park includes rivers, lakes and the entirety of the Adirondack mountain range. Although the park Read more

Dry Tortugas National Park :: Florida Keys

April 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Landmarks

At the end of the Florida Keys, about 70 miles west of Key West sit a small group of islands that were originally discovered by the Ponce de León in 1513. The islands and surrounding waters form the Dry Tortugas National Park, one of the most beautiful and most difficult to access parks in the United States. It can only be visited using official ferry and transportation services or private boat (We Recommend Dry Tortugas and Fort Jefferson Ferry). The Dry Tortugas were named during Ponce de León’s first visit due to the large Read more

Biltmore House :: Asheville, North Carolina

March 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Landmarks

The Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina is a 250 room 175,000 square foot French Renaissance style mansion. The homestead was built by George Washington Vanderbilt II between 1889 and 1895. It was originally on a massive 125,000 acres; however today it sits on about 8000 acres. The mansion itself remains privately owned by the Vanderbilt family and is still the largest privately owned home in the country. Read more

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