96 Replies Latest reply: Dec 29, 2015 3:18 PM by foxglove RSS

Must-see recommendation for your home state

foxglove Silver 3 Reviews
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If you were asked to recommend just one must-see destination in your home state to a visitor, what would it be? Any and all destinations apply, whether formed by Mother Nature or human hand.

 

My home state of Georgia is blessed with a vast canvas of natural beauty, from the Golden Isles on the Atlantic Coast to some of the last remnants of longleaf pine forest on the Coastal Plain to the Blue Ridge Mountains in the north. But the one destination that I’d recommend as a must-see for all is the Okefenokee Swamp in the southeast corner of the state. Encompassing nearly 700 square miles, it’s the largest freshwater swamp in North America. It’s a birder’s paradise, with more than 200 species as year-round or partial-year residents, including the Scarlet Ibis, Wood Stork, Great Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, and Sandhill Crane. Mammalian species include the black bear, bobcat, river otter, and white-tailed deer. And one never forgets the experience of hearing a bull American alligator roar during the spring mating season—it’s Jurassic Park come alive!

 

So that’s my recommendation. What’s yours? I have my travel calendar out, and I’m ready to start setting destinations.


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  • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
    profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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    As discussed in a previous topic I do not consider Maine my home state (and you have to live here for generations, and I have only accrued 20 years), but rather Boston (and eastern Massachusetts). I grew up and lived in Philadelphia and suburbs for 24 years, but have few happy memories.  Boston is where much of my life began, so it's my home state. But I will try to stick to what I think is the spirit of foxglove's great question, and answer for Maine. 

     

    The answer is actually pretty simple even though there are other places (like the Midcoast) that I love.  Acadia National Park, the only national park in the Northeast.  It is stunningly beautiful, with great views and hiking (just don't get too close to the edge of some of the cliffs in our extended winters, as too many have found out by mistake).

     

    I didn't have a digital camera then but retrieved these from an old CD.  (Old CD, but a much younger me in 2004.)  But the photo I'm in shows how hardy even not-yet Mainers/Mainiacs are -- just a short leather jacket in freezing temps! 31416_23.jpg31417_24.jpg

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  • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
    madmax Gold 7 Reviews
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    Well, I will start by saying I love my home state of Oklahoma, born and raised here and will more than likely be here for the rest of my years on this earth. There are so many wonderful things about Oklahoma that I love (and a few that I am not crazy about such as central location in US where the two major cross-country highways intersect, I-35 and I-40 and also am not partial to the weather). Oklahoma is a state of Agritourism due to so much flat farm land (lots of buffalo), American Indian Culture with many cities and towns being named after the 67 or so American Indian tribes from here, great Architectural design from Art Deco style to sprawling mansions of OK's past oil barons, World's largest Masonic Temple, over 100 Bed & Breakfasts, hiking and biking trails both urban around lakes as well as mountain trails in SE OK,

    Casinos on every corner (back to American Indian culture), 200 or so fishing lakes, etc. etc. etc...

    But with all the diversity of the state as a whole, I would say I would encourage anyone visiting Oklahoma to make The Oklahoma National Memorial and Museum a must-stop see.

    This is the site of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building downtown Oklahoma City. I think it is a great tribute to all who lost their lives in that tragic terrorist act on April 19, 1995. My favorite part of the memorial is probably The Field of Empty Chairs representing the 168 lives taken that day. The chairs stand in rows to represent each floor of the Murrah building, each bearing the name of someone who lost their life on that floor. There are also nineteen smaller ones representing the 19 children killed in the day care center there. There is also a reflecting pool, the Gates of Time marking the formal entrance to the memorial. The east gate is inscribed with 9:01, depicting the innocence of the city before the attack and the west gate is inscribed with 9:03, depicting the time our lives were all changed forever. There is a survivor wall, an actual wall of the building left standing after the bombing and more than 600 names are inscribed there. There is also The Survivor Tree, a lone elm that bore witness to the tragedy and still stands as a living symbol of resilience. And there is "The Fence", the first fence installed to protect the site but immediately people started leaving tokens of love and hope there. Over 60,000 items were collected and preserved in the memorial and people still leave tokens on the 200ft. fence area.

    It is a very surreal experience visiting this memorial, even as it will be 20 years next April, 2015 since the tragedy occurred. We will never forget, nor will we ever forget the Twin Towers or the Trade Center or Pentagon attacks or unfortunately many other similar attacks on our sacred US soil. May God be with this nation and as is said so often on this site, thank you to all who served to protect it over the years and in the future.

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    • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
      foxglove Silver 3 Reviews
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      madmax I was unaware of the memorial's existence. Thank you for sharing your lovely write-up.

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      • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
        madmax Gold 7 Reviews
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        Thanks @foxglove. I hope you will come and visit it sometime. I am anxious to learn more about many other states and thanks for the great idea.

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    • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
      Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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      I have been to the memorial and it is a stunning place to reflect and remember that awful event.  Thanks for the reminder and the photos.

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      • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
        madmax Gold 7 Reviews
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        I'm glad you were able to visit anadyr. Come on back sometime if you get a chance. We can meet up with Mrs. anadyr and Mr. madmax and I will screw the top off a bottle of wine...oh wait! That's not quite what you are used to. I may be able to find a bottle around here somewhere that has a cork

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        • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
          Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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          We were moved by the experience.  Walking the grounds reminded me of the people with whom I had worked and who died that day in the Defense Investigative Service, with which I was associated at the time. Ironically I was meeting with the Service's deputy director that day here in Monterey; we canceled our meetings and worked the phones to get the latest news. It was my first direct experience with domestic terrorism, but not my last.

           

          Like the 9/11 memorial in lower Manhattan, this is a very emotional place for me to visit, and will be always. Thank you for not letting me forget that it is.

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        • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
          Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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          PS, corks are highly overrated and scarce too.

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    • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
      pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
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      Madmax,

      I love this memorial, it was exquisitely and thoughtfully executed.  My visit there was very profound and palpable.  It is a great place to go and just reflect.

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      • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
        madmax Gold 7 Reviews
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        I'm glad you enjoyed it Pluto. Hope you can return some day and we will meet up.

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    • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
      jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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      madmax,

       

      I am so excited about coming back to OK City in April!

       

      OK is a wonderful state, and I am really looking forward to the Cowboy Museum!

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  • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
    Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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    Hello and thanks for starting this discussion, which is a great one. I was born in Pennsylvania and have fond memories of most of the urban and exurbian parts of the state. The eastern part, Bucks County, north of Philadelphia, is more like tne rolling terrain of southern Germany or Austria than anywhere east of the Rockies, IMHO.

     

    I lived in Washington DC for 20 years and wrote that off in terms of natural beauty, though it is Monumental (to misuse a phrase).

     

    Moving to Monterey in 1987 opened my eyes to unimaginable beauty, starting at the far north of the Golden State and ending some 800 plus miles later at the Mexican Border.  From the Redwoods, to Yosemite, to Anza Borrego and all points in between it is a natural wonder.

     

    For my signature spot though, I choose Big Sur and CA Highway one leading to it. In 1540, Spanish explorer Jaun Cabrillo wrote that "There are mountains that seem to reach to the heavens here, and the sea beats on them."

     

    Not more more can be added to Robert Louis Stevenson's comment, "This is the greatest meeting of land and water on earth."

     

    big sur.JPG

    big sur.jpg

     

    Message was edited by: Anadyr

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  • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
    pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
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    For my choice, it is difficult to decide between

     

    Yosemite

    1 Half Dome Yosemite.jpg

    or

    Sequoia National Park

    2 Giant Sequoia.jpg

     

    both National Parks being fairly proximal to one another.  I think I would have to go with Sequoia National Park, where one can commune with some of the largest (by volume), tallest (over 300') and oldest (3500 years) living things on Earth.  Additionally, it is home to Mount Whitney.  At 14,505' above sea level, it is the highest point in the contiguous (lower 48) United States.

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    • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
      foxglove Silver 3 Reviews
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      pluto77 The Sequoias have long been on my bucket list. I want to just stand and gawk. I've visited the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest in NC, one of the last stands of never-cut-over, old-growth forest in the eastern U.S. The trees there--mostly yellow poplar, beech, and white oak--were enormous but would be dwarfed by the redwoods. Thanks for sharing.

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    • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
      madmax Gold 7 Reviews
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      I was so impressed with Sequoia Park when I saw it as a kid and could actually drive through one of the sequoia trees.I believe it was a fallen tree that they cut a tunnel in. That was most awesome! We also drove through the giant redwood (I believe)  in Yosemite but I don't think you can anymore. Great place. Would love to visit again and again.

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      • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
        Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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        All these parks are marvelous and worth a visit. We have a Golden Eagle (geezer) pass that gets us in them all, for a one time fee of 10 dollars, so we have made good use of that since we turned 62!

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        • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
          madmax Gold 7 Reviews
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          that's awesome! where do you acquire such a pass?

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          • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
            Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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            Go to any of the national parks and ask for one--if you are over 62 they will give you one for ten dollars.

             

            Here are the details:

             

            Senior Pass

             

            • $10 Lifetime pass
            • For U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over.
            • May be obtained in person at a federal recreation site or through the mail using this application form. The cost of obtaining a Senior Pass through the mail is twenty dollars ($20). Ten ($10) for the Senior Pass and ten ($10) for processing the application. Applicants must provide documentation of age and residency or citizenship.
            • May provide a 50 percent discount on some amenity fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, swimming, boat launch, and specialized interpretive services.
            • Generally does NOT cover or reduce special recreation permit fees or fees charged by concessioners.

             

            Frequently Asked Questions about the Interagency Senior Pass

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            • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
              madmax Gold 7 Reviews
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              can't use it this year but can the next. Thanks for the info. I certainly think I will purchase it at a park though and not get in online where the fee doubles. Ridiculous

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              • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
                Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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                I agree, we just renewed our passports for the incredibly high fee of 110 dollars each, plus nearly 12 dollars to send them Priority Mail:  the service charge is buried in their somewhere.

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  • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
    marriottmemberfromla Platinum 51 Reviews
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    Great photo adds here. I've lived in California a long time so I consider it my home state.  I haven't explored the national parks much, but there are exceptional coastal views in Northern and Southern California (hard to pick just one there though). There is also the picturesque Sonoma County and Napa Valley.  The must see for me would be the Golden Gate Bridge.  Of the major US landmarks, it is my favorite (especially if you walk across it).

     

    I'm from Ohio and there are great caves and Native American spots, but probably the most iconic site there is The Horseshoe in Columbus. I'm more of a baseball stadium fan, but that stadium is a very special one with an unbelievable energy. It is also, for better or worse, one of the signature Ohio experiences (especially if the game is Michigan-Ohio State).

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    • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
      foxglove Silver 3 Reviews
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      The Golden Gate is truly a magnificent structure, combining form, function and beauty. And stadiums do hold a special spot in our hearts for many of us. Sanford Stadium here on the UGA campus is a special place for me. Thanks for sharing your "places."

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      • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
        Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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        Tony Bennett and others left their heart there

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        • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
          jerryl Platinum 2 Reviews
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          grand canyon still takes ones breath away when you get to the rim

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          • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
            profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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            Hi jerryl,

            While I have been to 46 states [except Alaska, the Dakotas and Oregon] mostly thanks to a long-ago boyfriend who was a bus driver who loved to drive in his time off, I haven't had the chance to see the Grand Canyon.  I would love to do so along with other major monuments, but I am tied to what my college and grants will pay for me to do -- which is Europe and the Middle East.  (And there isn't much left in the bank account after that, especially consider how much of those trips aren't paid for.)  So I will have to see these places through all of your eyes!

            Cheers, ProfChiara

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            • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
              jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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              professor,

               

              Will do the best I can!  But I must warn you, I am having "Cataract Surgery" later this month, so you may get some "Blurred" images till then.

               

              BTW, if and when you do go, pay for the "Plane ride" to The GC!  I am so glad I did not drive!  It's a wonderful "Hole in the ground", but for me after a few minutes, I was ready to go.  I am no outdoorsman, so I don't want to offend anyone.  I have made my trip, and now I move on to other places.  BTW, that's how I feel about "Stonehenge" as well!

               

              Hope you make it this way someday!  nuhusker and me along with a few other MRI friends will show you the Mid-West, and how us "Fly-over people" survive!

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              • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
                madmax Gold 7 Reviews
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                jerrycoin my favorite country song is "Fly Over States" by Jason Aldean because it is so true. Alot of travel happens above cloud level in Oklahoma.

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                • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
                  jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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                  madmax,

                   

                  Thanks for mentioning the C&W song that I had never heard of!

                   

                  Will have to look it up and "Relate"!

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            • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
              clebert Platinum 21 Reviews
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              Come on over to the Dakotas and see the beautiful Black Hills....3 Marriott properties to choose from

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              • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
                jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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                clebert,

                 

                Having stayed at The FF in Spearfish, it was a very good stay.  Love the area, and look forward to coming back.  Drove that day from Cheyenne to Little Big Horn, then your area.  Used to stay at the majestic "Alex Johnson Hotel" in Rapid City and always enjoyed their hospitality!

                 

                Thanks for "Reminding" me of some wonderful memories!

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          • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
            madmax Gold 7 Reviews
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            That's for sure jerryl. I have been there about 1/2 dozen times so far...never gets old

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  • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
    bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
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    I don't know what I would suggest as must see in Ohio. I'll give it some thought, but in the meantime ...

     

    I'll recommend Cuyahoga Valley National Park (the only National Park in the state). I visited it for the first time today aboard the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

    CVSR.jpg

     

    Roughly a 3-hour round trip along the river and parts of the Ohio & Erie canal. Scenic any time of year, I'm sure, but with snow and ice still around it made wildlife spotting a bit easier. Had a great meal on the train (5 courses that lasted almost as long as the trip).

     

    While there are many great places to visit in my home state, it's always fun to discover something new.

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    • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
      jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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      bejacob,

       

      Thanks for sharing, that sounds like a great way to relax, dine, and have a wonderful experience!

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    • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
      foxglove Silver 3 Reviews
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      Glad you chimed in. I look forward to your "must-see" selection. I love scenic railroads; there's one in western North Carolina that was used for the train wreck scene in The Fugitive with Harrison Ford, and the scenic train ride crosses Fontana Lake on an extremely high trestle. Fontana Dam, which was the scene of Ford's dam jump, is the highest dam in the US east of the Mississippi.  BTW, "Cuyahoga" is one of my favorite R.E.M. songs. After all, I am an Athens, G-A, (almost) native.

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  • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
    clebert Platinum 21 Reviews
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    Come see the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota which has such gems as:  Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, Wind Cave National Park, the Badlands, Deadwood, Custer State Park, the Mammoth Site at Hot Springs, Evans Plunge, the Mickelson Trail, the Sturgis Bike Rally, Mt. Moriah Cemetery, Needles Highway, Bear Butte, Sylvan Lake, the State Game Lodge, Blue Bell Lodge, Rapid City, and Spearfish Canyon!

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  • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
    foxglove Silver 3 Reviews
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    I thought I'd add a few more pictures of the Okefenokee Swamp. These were taken in the spring, when the gators go a-courtin', and the mosquitoes aren't yet out.

    oke1.jpg

    oke2.jpg

    oke4.jpg

    I think the one above is smoking a cigarette.

     

    oke5.jpg

    Sunset on the swamp.

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  • Re: Must-see recommendation for your home state
    erc Platinum
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    Virginia certainly has its share of natural beauty from beaches, mountain views, waterfalls, rivers,  caverns, space launches, and even wild horses (Chincoteague - home of Misty), but to me, especially at our adult age, the one must see among all in Virginia is the Arlington National Cemetery (across the Potomac River from Georgetown DC)   . Walking the grounds creates a special feeling hard to experience elsewhere, certainly in the state, if not in the country. You can visit The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier like nuhusker is going to do this fall, see JFK's grave, or walk by heroes from wars past. I have had the honor of being there during funerals of  WWII veterans (meaning men in their 90's who lead a full life, so whereas it was sad, not necessarily tragic) and it provides a perspective toward life that I cherish to this day.


    Contiguous to the Cemetery is The US Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima), which besides being another moving spot of appreciation is a superb vantage point for the July 4th fireworks on the National Mall.

    IMAG0626.jpg

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