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State animal: White-tailed Deer
State bird: Cardinal
State capital: Columbus
State flower: Scarlet Carnation
State wildflower: Large white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)
State insect: Ladybug Beetle
State song: “Beautiful Ohio”
State rock song: “Hang On Sloopy”
State tree: Buckeye
State fossil: Trilobite genus Isotelus
State drink: Tomato juice
State reptile: Black racer snake
State gemstone: Ohio Flint
State motto: “With God all things are possible.”
Unofficial Motto 1: “The heart of it all.” Used on Ohio’s license plates between the years 1991 and 2001.
Unofficial Motto 2: “So much to discover.” Adopted as part of state bicentennial campaign.
Ripley’s Aquarium is located at Broadway at the Beach. At 87,00 square feet, and containing a 330 foot long underwater tunnel, Ripley’s Aquarium is the most visited attraction in South Carolina.
Move through a see-through tunnel while fish and 10 foot long sharks swim all around you. See ray sharks, dive shows, marine education presentations, creatures from the Amazon rain forest, octopus, sea dragons and thousands of colorful fish. Touch horseshoe crabs and rays. You can buy family, season and business passes, and the aquarium can be rented for business meetings. For groups of 15 or more, you can spend the night in the shark tunnel and participate in planned activities.
1110 Celebrity Circle
Myrtle Beach, SC
$9.95 Children 5-11;
$3.95 Children 2-4;
Children ages 2 and younger are free.
For directions to the aquarium, click here
Find other area attractions here
Perfect for families, entertainment-lovers, and pleasure seekers in search of a laid-back, fuss-free vacation, Branson Missouri has confidently taken center stage as one of the most popular tourist sites not just in the Midwest, but in the country. For an old-fashioned retreat styled with a few modern touches, check out this bustling beehive of boisterous fun located in southern Missouri.
A number of factors contributed to Branson’s evolution from sleepy town to happening tourist destination, including business development, nearby dam activity that led to lake formation, and a novel called Shepard of the Hills that celebrates the settlers and the landscape of long-ago Branson. All of this plus a little pluck led to the brightly-lit, ever-active city of today, where you are welcomed to take in a show or two, fill yourself full of delicious food, or head out to the lake for some quality time with Mother Nature.
The center of the city is hopping with music, dancing, and colorful lights. A more wholesome Las Vegas, Branson offers choices for all members of the family. Country Western is generally the name of the game, but comedy, variety, and magic shows can all be sampled if you have the time. The overall theme of Branson entertainment is timeless fun, so if you seek solace in a more innocent atmosphere than the world sometimes offers up, consider traveling to the Ozarks.
In addition to shows, you’ll also find many more diversions that will please everyone in your group. Water parks will cool things down during the steamy summers, the Titanic Museum will fill your brain with information, and Silver Dollar City amusement park will provide thrills all year long. Several more museums and parks will tempt you while you’re here, so take a family vote and then fill your days with plummets and perusals of the local fare.
Shopping is another can’t-miss activity. Outlet malls and specialty shops abound, so keep your eyes open for great bargains and one-of-a-kind souvenirs to take home to jealous friends who wish they could have gone to Branson, too. Don’t forget that this land was once dominated by rough explorers and hardy horseback riders, so if you need a new pair of boots or a flashy belt buckle you’ve come to the right place. The land is tamer and the people are a bit more civilized these days, but Bransonites are proud of their heritage as weathered travelers who could handle anything thrown their way.
The outlying areas reveal another side to Branson’s personality, one that you’ll definitely want to become acquainted with. As mentioned before, dam-building means that there are lakes to be enjoyed, so pack up the fishing poles and the swimming suits for a few days of respite from the hubbub of daily life. Nothing is better than setting out across the water in a speedboat or lazily floating down the stream in a canoe, as you’ll soon discover during your excursion to one of the nearby sparkling blue oases.
Table Rock Lake is just three miles southwest of the city, and has an astounding 745 miles of shoreline. It is fit for boating, swimming, excellent fishing, hiking, camping, and pretty much anything else you can think of that you’d like to do by the water. Keep it low-key by stretching out for a snooze or kick things up a notch by renting a jet ski, either way you’ll find Table Rock the perfect place to be.
Similarly, Lake Taneycomo has what it takes to delight you and your companions as well. It has characteristics of both a river and a lake, and its cold waters are perfect for trout fishing. Marinas and boat ramps make things convenient, you won’t be too far away from restaurants and lodging options, and the lake itself is sparkling and clean. All in all, Lake Taneycomo should receive a little attention from you if you do decide on a Branson vacation.
Speaking of lodging, a good way to go when visiting this area is in the direction of renting a vacation property. Lake front cabins would make for many fine memories, as would condos that are conveniently located to golf courses, amusement parks, or whatever else tops your list. Imagine having enough space for everyone to settle in, avoiding the usual confrontations over sleeping arrangements and drawer space. If this sounds too good to be true, look into acquiring a Branson Vacation Rental and see what develops.
If you have a certain taste that has yet to be satisfied by your previous vacations, Branson might be what you’re looking for. It is distinctive and crowd-pleasing, with a little bit of natural beauty thrown in for good measure. Follow the well-beaten path to this friendly city to discover for yourself what all the fuss is about.
About the Author
HomeAway.com is a good resource for all your vacation rental needs.
Table Rock Lake
With over 800 miles of shoreline and crystal clear waters, Table Rock Lake is a water lover’s paradise. Located near Branson, the lake is a good way to get away from the non-stop acitvity of the city. The lake is renowned for its fishing and with the clear waters it is a scuba diver’s dream. Over 1200 camsites are available around the lake and you can rent a pontoon boat for the day and explore the many coves and backwaters that Table Rock Lake offers.
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Atlanta boasts a variety of museums on subjects ranging from history to fine arts, natural history, and beverages.Prominent among them are sites honoring Atlanta’s participation in the civil rights movement. Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in the city, and his boyhood home on Auburn Avenue in the Sweet Auburn district is preserved as the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site.
Meetings with other civil rights leaders, including Hosea Williams and current Congressman John Lewis, often happened at Paschal’s, a diner and motor inn which was a favorite for “colored” people, banned from “white” restaurants in an era of racial segregation and intolerance. King’s final resting place is in the tomb at the center of the reflecting pool at the King Center.
Other history museums and attractions include the
Atlanta History Center
The Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum (a huge painting and diorama in-the-round, with a rotating central audience platform, that depicts the Battle of Atlanta in the Civil War); the Carter Center and Presidential Library; and the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum.The arts are represented by several theaters and museums, including the Fox Theatre.
The Woodruff Arts Center
is home to the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony, High Museum of Art, and Atlanta College of Art.Museums geared specifically towards children include the Fernbank Science Center and Imagine It! Atlanta’s Children’s Museum. The High Museum of Art is the city’s major fine/visual arts venue, with a significant permanent collection and an assortment of traveling exhibitions.
The Atlanta Opera
which was founded in 1979 by members of two struggling local companies, is arguably the most important opera company in the southeastern United States and enjoys a growing audience and international reputation.
The Georgia Aquarium
Atlanta features the world’s largest aquarium, the Georgia Aquarium, which officially opened to the public on November 23, 2005. The aquarium will feature over 100,000 specimens in tanks holding approximately eight million gallons of water.Another unique museum is the World of Coca-Cola featuring the history of the world famous soft drink brand and its well-known advertising.
Adjacent is Underground Atlanta, a historic shopping and entertainment complex situated under the streets of downtown Atlanta.
While not a museum per se, The Varsity is the main branch of the long-lived fast food chain, featured as the world’s largest drive-in restaurant.
Six Flags Over Georgia
A few miles west of Atlanta on I-20 is the Six Flags Over Georgia Theme Park, which opened near the city in 1967, and was the second theme park in the Six Flags chain.
The heart of the city’s festivals is Piedmont Park. In 1887, a group of prominent Atlantans purchased 189 acres (0.76 km²) of farmland to build a horse racing track, later developed into the site of the Cotton States International Exposition of 1895. In 1904, the city council purchased the land for $99,000, and today it is the largest park in metro Atlanta, with more than 2.5 million visitors each year. The grounds were part of the Battle of Peachtree Creek – a Confederate division occupied the northern edge on July 20, 1864 as part of the outer defense line against Sherman’s approach. Next to the park is the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Zoo Atlanta, home to its own panda exhibit, is located in Grant Park.
Just east of the city, Stone Mountain is the largest piece of exposed granite in the world. On its face are giant carvings of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson. It is also the site of impressive laser shows in the summer.
Popular annual cultural events include:
Atlanta Dogwood Festival, a Spring arts and crafts festival at Piedmont Park.
Music Midtown – Three-day music festival in early summer.
Atlanta Jazz Festival, largest free jazz festival in the USA
Sweet Auburn SpringFest
Inman Park Festival
NASCAR’s official attraction offers the ultimate in interactive information, entertainment and motion simulation to help fans and novices appreciate the finer points of speed.
|Adults||$21.50 + tax|
|Seniors||$18.50 + tax|
|Children (6-12)||$15.50 + tax|
|Children under 6||FREE|
|Speedway Tours||$8.50 + tax|
|DAYTONA USA Annual Pass||$49.00|