Category Archives: Museum

Fort Bowie National Historic Site

Fort Bowie National Historic Site
Location: east of Wilcox, Arizona
Length of visit: 2 hours
Major draws: Ruins of a fort, scenic views
Strenuosity: 3 out of 10
Cost/Fees: Free
Additional considerations: 3-mile roundtrip hike to visitor center
Description: There aren’t any other NPS sites we can think of that require a 1.5-mile one-way hike to access the visitor center, but as a bonus when you arrive you’ve earned an I Hike for Health pin. This fort dates from the Civil War and late-1800s Apache Wars.

Tonto National Monument

Tonto National Monument
Location: Roosevelt Lake, Arizona
Length of visit: 1 hour
Major draws: Ruins, scenic views
Strenuosity: 3 out of 10
Cost/Fees: $5 per adult or free with America the Beautiful pass
Additional considerations: Steep but short hike to ruins
Description: Not far east of Phoenix is this beautiful cliff dwelling ruin, which makes for a great half day trip and scenic drive past Roosevelt, Apache, and Canyon Lakes.

Dole Pineapple Plantation

Dole Pineapple Plantation
Location: central Oahu, Hawaii
Length of visit: 2 hours
Major draws: Pineapple Express train, world’s largest maze, Dole whip dessert
Strenuosity: 1 out of 10
Cost/Fees: $7 per adult for maze
Additional considerations: Crowded when tour buses stop
Description: Even on a rainy day we had fun finding the 8 hidden stations in the world’s largest maze. To celebrate we split a Dole whip (pineapple soft serve).

WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument

WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument
Location: Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii
Length of visit: half day
Major draws: USS Arizona Memorial, submarine, museum
Strenuosity: 1 out of 10
Cost/Fees: Free
Additional considerations: Free tickets for ferry limited each day
Description: We achieved our goal to witness the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 2016. We also managed to nab two of the limited tickets to ferry out to the USS Arizona Memorial that day where we saw scuba divers preparing to inter two survivors remains on board the ship.

Waimea Canyon State Park

Waimea Canyon State Park and Koke’e State Park
Location: western Kauai, Hawaii
Length of visit: half day
Major draws: Scenic views, waterfalls, hiking, birding
Strenuosity: 5 out of 10
Cost/Fees: Free
Additional considerations: Feral goats on trail, trail slippery when wet (which is all the time)
Description: The “Grand Canyon of Hawaii” is 3,600-feet deep and very colorful. Many trails crisscross these two state parks, including the one we took to the top of 800-foot Waipo’o Falls.

 

Chickasaw National Recreation Area

Chickasaw National Recreation Area
Location: Sulphur, Oklahoma
Length of visit: 2 hours
Major draws: Bison, natural springs, reservoir
Strenuosity: 1 out of 10
Cost/Fees: Free
Additional considerations: Hard to see bison or Lincoln Bridge (on OK quarter) through trees
Description: Originally purchased by the U.S. government in 1902 and once named Platt National Park, this historic area in the middle of the Chickasaw Reservation has both fresh and mineral springs.

Arkansas Post National Memorial

Arkansas Post National Memorial
Location: Gillett, Arkansas
Length of visit: 2 hours
Major draws: Wildlife, film
Strenuosity: 1 out of 10
Cost/Fees: Free
Additional considerations: Bugs
Description: Located on the Arkansas River near its confluence with the Mississippi, this site was held by the French, Spanish, and Confederacy and attacked by British and Union forces during a long history that saw it as the first capital of the Arkansas Territory.

Belzoni, Mississippi

Belzoni, Mississippi
Location: Belzoni, Mississippi
Length of visit: 1 hour
Major draws: Catfish museum, sculptures
Strenuosity: 1 out of 10
Cost/Fees: Free
Additional considerations: No catfish stuffed animals for sale
Description: Having caught several catfish in Suwannee, Tiff simply had to visit the Catfish Capital of the World as seen on the small UHaul trailers. This is a major catfish growing region. It’s actually a very efficient livestock requiring only 2 pounds of feed to grow a pound of meat.

Vicksburg National Military Park

Vicksburg National Military Park
Location: Vicksburg, Mississippi
Length of visit: half day
Major draws: USS Cairo ironside ship, monuments, museum, film
Strenuosity: 1 out of 10
Cost/Fees: $12 per vehicle or free with America the Beautiful pass
Additional considerations: Gates close at 5 p.m. for auto tour
Description: The USS Cairo ironside ship was rediscovered beneath the Yazoo River in 1964 then carefully moved to its current location.  The sculptures here are the prettiest of any Civil War battlefield.

 

Poverty Point National Monument

Poverty Point National Monument
Location: Pioneer, Louisiana
Length of visit: 1 hour
Major draws: Large Indian mounds, film
Strenuosity: 1 out of 10
Cost/Fees: $4 per adult or free with America the Beautiful pass
Additional considerations: Tram tour does not stop to allow visitors to climb Mound A
Description: This NPS site was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014 and is fully run by Louisiana State Parks.  The impressive Mound A required 15.5-million baskets of dirt to reach its massive 70-foot height.