Also called “the Magic Dragon” for its serpentine shape, the Lake of the Ozarks is a large reservoir created by the Osage River in central Missouri. Its surface covers a vast 54,000 acres and its shoreline stretches 1,150 miles.
The Lake of the Ozarks was created in 1929 when the construction of the Bagnell Dam by the Union Electrical Company of St. Louis impounded a much smaller lake. At the time of construction of the dam, Lake of the Ozarks was the largest man-made lake in the United States.
Renamed multiple times over the years as none of the officially chosen titles stuck, it became known by its location on the northern edge of the lake that is nearby the Ozarks.
Well known for being a popular tourist destination, Lake of the Ozarks the shoreline is relatively stable in comparison to other flood control lakes, creating ideal conditions for developments very close to the water’s edge.
Nearby is Bridal Cave, a natural cave system attraction that is names after an Osage Native American legend. Additionally, there is a national park called the Lake of the Ozarks State Park which covers 17,500 acres of the land and is the largest state park in Missouri.
We recommend this spot to our nature and outdoor lovers. It is the perfect destination for a weeklong family getaway close to the water but nearly a stone’s throw away from other fun things like plenty of restaurants, stores for shopping and even a water park.
Come and visit the former mansion estate of the King of Rock and Roll. Purchased by Elvis Presley in 1957 for just over $100,000, the former cattle farm turned renovated home is where Elvis lived for over twenty years.
Named after the original estate owner, Stephen C. Toof’s daughter, Grace. The estate features five sets of staircases, three grand fireplaces and a kidney-shaped pool. The famous music-themed gates were installed in April of 1957.
Graceland became the center hub for Elvis and his life. It is where Elvis lived with his wife, Priscilla Beaulieu, in the first years of their marriage and where Lisa Maria, Elvis’s daughter spent the first years of her life.
While on tour, Elvis would have his hotel rooms “renovated” to the same configurations as Graceland with the same furniture for his complete comfort.
Elvis’s tombstone is in the Meditation Garden next to the estate and is viewable on mansion tours.
In 1991, Graceland was added to the American National Register of Historic Places and is the first landmark that is related to rock and roll to be included on the register. It is the second most-visited house in the country, after to the White House of course, with over 600,000 visitors each year.
The grounds feature exhibits like a new car museum, Presley Motors, including the famous pink Cadillac, a radio studio that plays all Elvis music around the clock, his two planes, the Lisa Marie and Hound Dog II. Graceland also includes the personal effects of the musician like his wardrobe, costumes, awards and furniture.
We highly recommend this attraction to all music and rock and roll fans and allot for 2-3 hours to fully immerse yourself in all the property has to offer.
The Forbidden City, The Great Smoky Mountains, The Sydney Opera House, The Taj Mahal and Versailles are some of the world’s most visited UNESCO Heritage Sites. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s aim is to “build the defenses of peace in the minds of men and women.”
In addition to helping to facilitate collaboration and cooperation between countries the UNESCO organization determines World Heritage Sites. These sites are deemed important, unique, educational and beautiful and are protected from being destroyed by receiving the honor.
This week a special committee is looking into adding more sites to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. The contenders include sites like a bird-filled estuary in China’s Yalu River, Frank Lloyd Wright’s 20th-century architecture, Alpine road in Austria, Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland and Jaipur city in India among others.
In order to be added to the World Heritage Site list, the sites must pass a series of evaluations where experts evaluate the destinations and report on their preservation.
If accepted, the UNESCO stamp of approval will most definitely help increase the valuable tourism dollars for the sites. If denied, the sites can still be nominated in subsequent years and go through the process again.
To see the complete list of World Heritage Site click here.
Also known as the Alamo Mission in what is now San Antonio, Texas, it is a fortress and compound founded by Roman Catholic missionaries in the 18th century. Famous for the Battle of the Alamo in 1836 and for being the pivotal battle in the Texas Revolution.
The battle was fought between the Republic of Texas and Mexico from February 23rd to March 6th, 1836. In the end, the Mexican army won and ultimately killed the estimated 200 Texans including the national hero and “King of the Frontier,” Davy Crockett.
Built initially for the education of the converted Native Americans, it was later transformed to a fortress to house the military unit, the Second Flying Company of San Carlos de Parras.
Now it is part of a museum in the Alamo Historic District and a World Heritage Site.
The Alamo calls to all interested in history, the military, and politics. We recommend allotting around 2 hours to explore the museum, fortress and gardens available at this attraction.
With the Grand Canyon National Park turning 100 in 2019, they have a lot to celebrate. But the festivities shouldn’t just applaud the age of the park.
It is now certified as an International Dark Sky Park.
Now the Grand Canyon is joining the ranks of 60 other esteemed parks and reserves that are Dark Sky Parks. It is now one of 9 other U.S. National Parks to qualify out of the 61 total U.S. National Parks.
Efforts to attain this achievement began in 2016. The Grand Canyon National Park was outfitted with thousands of exterior lights to reduce the light pollution as more and more of the nights are being polluted by lights.
The famous American country music stage was founded in 1925 by George D. Hay. Back then it was known for the one-hour “barn dance” segment on the radio but now it is the longest-running radio broadcast in U.S. history.
The Grand Ole Opry is “The Show That Made Country Music Famous,” and aims to honor the music genre and its history along with bluegrass and gospel music too.
Membership in the Opry is one of the most prestigious accomplishments for country musicians. In order to be inducted, regular performers must be asked by current members on stage during a live performance. Membership must be maintained for the entire career of the musician with frequent performances and ends when the artists pass away.
The Grand Ole Opry attracts thousands of its listeners from all over and is a crowning achievement to the “country music capital” of the nation. Visit to see a backstage tour or buy tickets to a one of a kind live music show.
The famous New York landmark and building complex was commissioned by the Rockefeller family in 1931. The Rockefeller Center is one-part the original center- Radio City, with the Music Hall and 30 Rockefeller Plaza and one-part International Complex.
Initially, it was meant to be the new home for the Metropolitan Opera until the stock market crash of 1929, which left the Opera unable to afford to move. The plans for the Metropolitan Opera were abandoned and John D. Rockefeller Jr. created new designs for the location to become a mass media entertainment complex.
The Rockefeller Center is one of the greatest projects of the Great Depression and is known for its architectural Art Deco buildings. The center was declared a New York City landmark in 1985 and a National Historic Landmark in 1987.
Whether you are stopping by to see the views from the Top of the Rock, tour Radio City Music Hall, popping in the shops or restaurants, seeing the festive Christmas tree in the plaza or spinning around on the ice skating rink, the Rockefeller Center has something for everyone.
The museum is the official repository for the official correspondence of John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s Administration in addition to published and unpublished materials by Ernest Hemingway.
This attraction is a part of the National Archives and Records Administration and the Presidential Library System. Both the museum and library were dedicated by President Jimmy Carter and the Kennedy family in 1979.
At the time of construction for the JFK Museum and Library, there were only four other presidential libraries in existence- Hoover’s, FDR’s, Truman’s and Eisenhower’s.
Sadly, JFK never saw the project completed before his assassination but his widow Jacqueline Kennedy chose the architect I. M. Pei and his design in her late husband’s honor.
Due to years of setbacks and complications, the location for the structure was moved to Columbia Point near the University of Massachusetts Boston where the JFK Museum and Library now proudly resides. The museum and library is just a short walk from the JFK/UMass stop on Boston’s Red Line.
The JFK Museum and Library is dedicated to the 35th president and to all others who seek a better world through politics. We recommend allowing 2- 3.5 hours to fully explore, depending on how many of the films you wish to watch.
The St. Louis’ City Museum is brainchild of Bob Cassilly, an internationally- acclaimed artist and classically trained sculptor. The City Museum is housed in a 10- story, 600,000 repurposed warehouse at 750 N. 16th Street and mixes unique architectural aspects like playground features, recycled building materials, art sculptures.
Built in 1997, Cassilly and his crew of 20 artisans created the City Museum from building materials like bricks, concrete, stone, beams, and tiles in addition of planes, cranes, fire trucks, and even store fronts. It was built to feel like “a city within a city.”
There is no map for the City Museum as the layout and art installations are always changing. Make sure to take plenty of time to take it all in and explore as there are hidden exhibits behind doors and under the floor and even hanging up above your head.
This space is perfect for active groups and those seeking adventure and exploration. It even has a fun rooftop and weekly events like overnight sleepovers and special performances.
Right in the heart of Cleveland, Ohio and on the shore of Lake Erie, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is the place to go for anyone remotely interested in music and rock and roll. Opened in 1983, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognizes the most important and influential artists and contributors of rock and roll and the entire history of the music genre.
The Hall of Fame was founded by a team of record executives, lawyers, and publishers and soon began inducting artists even before a location for the museum had been decided. Cleveland lobbied for the museum and with the public support, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame moved to the city.
Inside the museum, there are seven stories to explore and multiple galleries that highlight the roots of gospel, blues, rhythm and blues, folk, country and bluegrass, all of which have played an important role in rock and roll music. There are also city exhibits for Memphis, Detroit, London, Liverpool, San Francisco, LA, New York and Seattle, all of which had impacts on music. There are plenty of other galleries about specific artists and films galore too.
For the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you need at least two hours minimum to take all the information and history in. We highly recommend this attraction to history buffs and music aficionados.