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Little(r) Museums of Paris Book Review

Little(r) Museums of Paris book review
Little(r) Museums of Paris book review
Little(r) Museums of Paris Book Review

Jacobs, Emma. Little(r) Museums of Paris An Illustrated Guide to the City’s Hidden Gems. New York: Running Press. 2019. ISBN 9780762466399. $20. 192 pages. Index, bibliography, drawings.

Planning a trip to Paris can prove to be an overwhelming task. How much time do I need? How to get there? Where to stay? Where to eat? Should I rent a car? What are the must see destinations?

While she can’t answer those questions for you, author Emma Jacobs can provide you with some off the beaten path alternatives that most visitors to Paris will never even know about. If you crave the unknown, less crowded, local flavor type of destinations, this is a book you have to read before visiting Paris.

What to Expect

In a book that is whimsical, yet serious; travel guide, yet travel writing; and brief, yet thorough, Emma Jacobs holds our hand through some locations that Rick Steves will not guide you to. With that in mind, this guide (if you want to call it that) is ideal for travelers who have visited Paris and seen the major sites. Maybe you are one of those travelers who doesn’t care to see the Eiffel Tower (gasp and shame on you). Or maybe you want to see Paris like a local might. If this sounds like how you travel, step on in.

First, a couple of things that differentiate this book from a standard travel guide. The book is in hardcover format. It’s not a traditional hardcover size but it’s hardcover none the less and a bit more difficult to take with you during a days excursion. Second are the illustrations. This is not your standard travel guide that is packed with color photos. Rather, these are Jacobs own watercolor illustrations. I might have like to have some color photos included but the illustrations are charming and well thought out.

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What is Included

The book is divided into nine chapters, listed below

  1. Marvels & Machines
  2. History
  3. Architecture & Design
  4. Around the World
  5. Time Capsules
  6. Artists & Ateliers
  7. Stage & Page
  8. Science & Medicine
  9. On the Outskirts

Each chapter contains multiple listings. All listings contain some basic information. This includes the museum name in both French and English. The address, phone number, and website are listed as are the hours of operation and admission fees.

Perhaps the most useful piece of information however is that Jacobs provides readers with the nearest Metro location. This information is crucial in trying to actually visit each location. Remember above when I asked about renting a car. Having been to Paris, here’s my advice, DON’T. Public transportation is readily available. The Metro is more reliable than buses, which are often well off schedule. Traffic in Paris can be a nightmare. If you aren’t familiar with the city and don’t have a good handle on the language, do not rent a car.

 

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Examples

Musee Curie
The Curie Museum is located in the third and last laboratory used by Marie Curie, the Curie pavilion of the Paris Radium Institute, built between 1912 and 1915. Consisting of a permanent exhibition space and a resource center historical, it offers the public the opportunity to discover the history of the Curie family, radioactivity and its first applications.

So, one issue I did have with this book is trying to determine just what is meant by “little(r).” Jacobs doesn’t supply a true definition of the term. She kind of punts on a definition in her introduction. Here she states, “luckily, a city with a museum the size of the Louvre left me a lot of flexibility in defining small.” I worked at a true small museum. A small museum does not have millions of artifacts or the budgets many of these facilities would appear to have. Potato, potahto.

Museums such as Musee des Arts Forains (Museum of Fairground Arts) focus on the whimsical such as carousels, arcade games, wax figures, and the like.

If you are interested in fashion, a visit to the Musee Yves Saint Laurent (Yves Saint Laurent Museum) has to be on your list.

Paris is known for its art and art lovers will find plenty to enjoy in this book. A visit to the Musee Rodin (Rodin Museum) will satisfy any fan. You can see the famous Liberty Leading the People during a visit to the Louvre, or you can visit the Musee National Eugene Delacroix, and learn much more about the artist.

I could go on, but I think you are getting the picture here. There are museums for every style and taste in Paris. And while the author admits this book is no where near comprehensive, you could live for a year in Paris and not cover all the museums she has provided.

Some Cautionary Notes

As with any travel guide there are some cautions to be aware of. Travel guides can age poorly. This one is probably no exception.

Jacobs lists open hours and admission prices. Please remember, this book was published BEFORE the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of that information could have changed in the ensuing years. It’s best to check the official website for each museum to confirm. I spot checked about a dozen of the sites from the book and with only 2 exceptions, all translated automatically to English. The others showed the option to do so with a click of the mouse.

An issue with the set up of the book by topic becomes the difficulty in planning to see several museums in a single day. It takes some work to determine museums that are within reasonable proximity to each other. Jacobs does provide several brief itineraries to close out the book. You have to reference these back to the text. It might have been nice to have these nearby destinations referenced in the individual listings as well.

Takeaways

Overall, I found this to be a worthwhile read. The book can be read cover to cover, as I did, or piecemeal based upon your interests.

This book is ideal for someone planning an extended stay in Paris, or for experienced visitors who are seeking adventure outside of the standard sites recommended everywhere else.

The price of the book is very reasonable at $20. The format makes it good for keeping on your shelf but maybe not for day to day wandering throughout the city. As with any travel guide, some information can become outdated, but you all know how to use Google to verify the information provided.

Recommended.

 

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This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. Affiliate programs or sponsors providing products do not influence the views and opinions shared in this blog. 

 

Visit the Musee Yves Saint Laurent in ParisLittle(r) Museums of Paris
Reserve your tickets to tour the Musee Yves Saint Laurent in Paris. Take a guided tour before the museum opens to the public. Click the image or THIS LINK for information and to book your tour. 
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October 2023 The Best Events and Festivals in Florida

The Best Events and Festivals in Florida

The Best in Florida Festivals and Events October 2023

Florida hosts some amazing events and festivals. Each month I hope to take a look at a dozen or so of these in hopes of bringing you fun, exciting, and unexpected ways to enjoy our state.

If you have an event or know of one coming up that you feel should be highlighted, please drop me a line with as much information as you can, including a website. I’ll be glad to include your suggestions in future posts.

Posts are listed in date order.

I have purposefully not included Oktoberfest and Halloween related events in this post.

October 6-8      Destin Seafood Festival             Destin

This event which features seafood, music, art, and more serves as a fundraiser for the Destin Charter Boat Association, a not-for-profit organization formed in 1954. More than 70 vendors, five music stages, and seafood galore.

 

 

 

 

Boots, Bulls, and Barrels October 7, 2023

October 7         Boots, Bulls & Barrells              Kissimmee

An intense event that combines the thrill of bull riding with the fast agility of barrel racing. This tournament-style event brings together professional bull riders and skilled equestrians in a competition of adrenaline and skill.

The annual Silver Spurs Rodeo is one of the top rodeos in the country so this event promises to be excellent.

Take a video tour of the history of the Silver Spurs Rodeo below.

 

 

 

Green Cove Springs Soul Food FestivalOctober 7         Green Cove Springs Soul Food & Music Festival

Enjoy an amazing day of southern cooking, live music, dancing, children’s activities, local artists, specialty vendors, and more.

 

 

 

 

MagazineValues.com

 

Winter Park Autumn Art Festival  

October 7-8      Autumn Art Festival         Winter Park

The Winter Park Autumn Art Festival is the only juried fine art festival exclusively featuring Florida artists.

The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce is proud to host the festival on the second weekend in October each year. The community-oriented sidewalk show presents quality visual art and live entertainment the whole family can enjoy. The festival is held in beautiful Central Park located along historic Park Avenue in downtown Winter Park.

The festival is open from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. both days.

Admission is free!

 

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Florida Birding & Nature FestivalOctober 12-15  Florida Birding & Nature Festival    Apollo Beach

Four days of field and boat trips, expert seminars, keynote speakers, and a free nature expo with more than 20 vendors and organizations. There October are charges for certain portions of this festival.

 

 

 

October 14                McIntosh 1890s Festival            McIntosh

Named for the decade when the community began to flourish, this festival has grown to more than 200 vendors with tens of thousands of visitors. Enjoy music, food, shopping, arts and crafts, jewelry, and more while enjoying local Victorian charm.

 

October 19-22           Biketoberfest            Daytona Beach

Motorcycle enthusiasts come together during the four-day rally each year to enjoy beautiful Florida weather, live music, motorcycle racing at Daytona International Speedway, and miles of scenic rides along famous A1A, historic Main Street or the scenic Loop. Come experience the Southeast’s best motorcycle rally featuring motorcycle shows, custom bike builds and hundreds of the industry’s top vendors throughout Daytona Beach.

Biketoberfest

 

 
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October 21                Sanford Jazz in the Park         Sanford

Come out to the 6th annual Jazz in the Park at Centennial Park. This family oriented events features live music, food trucks, vendors, and a cash bar. This music festival is presented by Ladies 327 in association with Historic Downtown Sanford.

Sanford, Florida Jazz in the Park October 21, 2023

 

October 21-22           Cedar Key Seafood Festival      Cedar Key

Now it’s 53rd year, this year’s festival will celebrate the year of the clam. The festival features seafood, more than arts and crafts vendors, music, and an amazing Saturday morning parade you won’t want to miss.

Renowned for its delectable seafood offerings, vibrant arts and crafts scene, and lively live music performances, the Cedar Key Seafood Festival promises visitors an unforgettable weekend full of fun and flavors. 

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October 25-29           Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

With plans for multiple show locales, more than 1,300 boats, 1,000 brands, and 100,000 attendees, this is the boat show for any marine enthusiast. Buy your tickets in advance online (HINT, HINT, they aren’t cheap).

 

Naples Stone Crab Festival

October 27-29           Naples Stone Crab Festival       Naples

A Naples tradition for more than a decade, enjoy stone crab, other seafood, live entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, and more.

 

October 28       Florida Territory Living History      Dade City

A living history event depicting Florida history before 1845: pre-history/archeological, pre-Columbian (15th Century and before), Spanish Colonial Period, Seven Years/Revolutionary War, Patriot War/War of 1812, Seminole Wars.
Tickets at the Gate Only.
Florida Territory Living History Day at Pioneer Florida Museum and Village

 

Thousands attend the Mt. Dora Craft Fair, consistently ranked one of the best craft fairs in the country.October 28-29   Mount Dora Fall Craft Fair      Mount Dora

Consistently voted in the top 5 craft fairs across the country by Sunshine Artist Magazine Subscription

The downtown streets come alive with almost 400 of the best exhibitors in the country ready to show and sell their fine and fun crafts at this annual event. Festival food, music, beer, wine, cocktails and some special guest appearances will round out the event.

 

 

 

October 28-29           Lake Wales Pioneer Days Festival

Happening in Lake Wailes Park, this event will feature reenactors and historic demonstrations, more than 60 craft market vendors, local food vendors, community partners, and be sure to nominate someone for “Pioneer of the Year.”

 

October 29                Tavares Trailblazers                 Tavares

Join historian Richard Lee Cronin at the Tavares History Research Center for a presentation celebrating some of the exceptional individuals and the roles each played in the development of the town.

Tavares Trailblazer October 29, 203

Thank you to Bob Grenier for alerting me to this event! Remember, if you have an event that you would like me to include in future posts, drop me a line with the information. It’s free!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products. 

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Burial Sites of United States Presidents A Listing

Presidential Seal

Below is a brief reference to the burial sites of United States Presidents. Only 46 men (well, really 45 since Grover Cleveland was both the 22nd and 24th president) have served in the role of President of the United States. While visiting all these sites will take some coordination, time, and cost, it is certainly an achievable goal. Some of the burials contain elaborate monuments while others are much more  commonplace and almost indistinguishable from their surroundings.

This listing includes links (click the name of your favorite president) so that you can determine when locations are open and if there are any associated costs. Most modern presidents have been buried onsite of their presidential library and museum. These websites are often tremendous sources of information on the Presidents and their accomplishments, especially those operated by the National Archives. For some of the earlier presidents, the sites related to their burials are lacking and you will need to seek outside sources.

This information on these sites may of course be slanted toward putting the president in a positive light. My recommendation is to read several books with different points of view in order to achieve a more balanced look at each of these successful, but still human and flawed, men. For more modern presidents, good luck. The literature is a minefield with most of it being partisan garbage.

 

1             George Washington        December 14, 1799         Mount Vernon   Fairfax County, Virginia

Mount Vernon, the final resting place for President George Washington and his wife Martha. Click the link to reserve your tickets.
Mount Vernon is the incredible estate of George and Martha Washington. Click the photo or THIS LINK to reserve your entry ticket and audio guide.

2             John Adams        July 4, 1826        United First Parish Church            Quincy, Massachusetts

3             Thomas Jefferson             July 4, 1826        Monticello          Charlottesville, Virginia

4             James Madison June 28, 1836    Montpelier         Orange, Virginia

5             James Monroe   July 4, 1831        James Monroe Tomb,                 Hollywood Cemetery                Richmond,  Virginia

Click the photo for information and to purchase tickets for an incredible tour of Hollywood Cemetery, final resting spot for President James Monroe.
Hollywood Cemetery is full of history including that of Presidents James Monroe, whose tomb is shown in the image, and John Tyler. Click the image or THIS LINK for information and to purchase tour tickets for Hollywood Cemetery, in Richmond, VA.

 

6             John Quincy Adams         February 23, 1848           United First Parish Church                Quincy, Massachusetts

7             Andrew Jackson               June 8, 1845       The Hermitage   Nashville, Tennessee

8             Martin Van Buren            July 24, 1862      Kinderhook Reformed Church Cemetery                Kinderhook, New York

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9             William Henry Harrison April 4, 1841      William Henry Harrison Tomb State Memorial             North Bend, Ohio

10          John Tyler           January 18, 1862             Hollywood Cemetery      Richmond, Virginia

11          James K. Polk     June 15, 1849    Tennessee State Capitol      Nashville, Tennessee

12          Zachary Taylor   July 9, 1850        Zachary Taylor National Cemetery             Louisville, Kentucky

13          Millard Fillmore                March 8, 1874   Forest Lawn Cemetery    Buffalo, New York

14          Franklin Pierce   October 8, 1869               Old North Cemetery       Concord, New Hampshire

15          James Buchanan              June 1, 1868       Woodward Hill Cemetery             Lancaster, Pennsylvania

16          Abraham Lincoln              April 15, 1865    Lincoln Tomb, Oak Ridge Cemetery                Springfield, Illinois

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17          Andrew Johnson               July 31, 1875      Andrew Johnson National Cemetery                Greeneville, Tennessee

18          Ulysses S. Grant                July 23, 1885      General Grant National Memorial                New York, New York

Heavily illustrated and with contributions from historians Richard Norton Smith and Douglas Brinkley, Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb? is about the presidents' lives as much as it is about their final resting places. The book's collection of the presidents' last words, from Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "I have a terrific headache" to John Adams's "Thomas Jefferson still survives" offers a poignant and sometimes humorous look at the last moments of the great men. This is a great way to encounter the presidents, from the great ones to the near-forgottens. Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb? belongs in the glove box of every traveler and the bedside table of every fan of the American presidency and American history. Click the image to order your copy and learn more about burial sites of United States Presidents.
Heavily illustrated and with contributions from historians Richard Norton Smith and Douglas Brinkley, Who’s Buried in Grant’s Tomb? is about the presidents’ lives as much as it is about their final resting places. Who’s Buried in Grant’s Tomb? belongs in the glove box of every traveler and the bedside table of every fan of the American presidency and American history. CLICK HERE or the image to order your copy.

 

19          Rutherford B. Hayes        January 17, 1893             Spiegel Grove     Fremont, Ohio

20          James A. Garfield             September 19, 1881        James A. Garfield Memorial,     Lake View Cemetery Cleveland, Ohio

21          Chester A. Arthur             November 18, 1886        Albany Rural Cemetery   Menands                New York

22/24    Grover Cleveland             June 24, 1908    Princeton Cemetery        Princeton, New Jersey

23          Benjamin Harrison           March 13, 1901                Crown Hill Cemetery       Indianapolis, Indiana

25          William McKinley             September 14, 1901       McKinley National Memorial                Canton, Ohio

26          Theodore Roosevelt         January 6, 1919                Youngs Memorial Cemetery                Oyster Bay, New York

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27          William Howard Taft        March 8, 1930   Arlington National Cemetery       Arlington, Virginia

28          Woodrow Wilson             February 3, 1924              Washington National Cathedral                Washington District of Columbia

29          Warren G. Harding          August 2, 1923        Harding Tomb     Marion, Ohio

30          Calvin Coolidge January 5, 1933                Plymouth Notch Cemetery           Plymouth Notch, Vermont

31          Herbert Hoover  October 20, 1964             Hoover Presidential Library          West Branch, Iowa

32          Franklin D. Roosevelt      April 12, 1945    Springwood        Hyde Park, New York

33          Harry S. Truman               December 26, 1972         Truman Presidential Library                Independence, Missouri

Visit the Harry S. Truman "Little White House" in Key West, FL. Click the link for information and to book your visit.
Visit the Harry S. Truman “Little White House” in Key West, FL. Click THIS LINK for information and to book your visit.

34          Dwight D. Eisenhower     March 28, 1969                Eisenhower Presidential Center                Abilene, Kansas

35          John F. Kennedy               November 22, 1963        Kennedy Gravesite  Arlington National Cemetery          Arlington, Virginia

36          Lyndon B. Johnson          January 22, 1973             Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park    Stonewall, Texas

37          Richard Nixon    April 22, 1994    Nixon Presidential Library             Yorba Linda, California

Click the photo for information and to book your Nixon Presidential Library tour.Burial sites of United States Presidents

Visit the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum and find out why it has been voted Orange County’s Best Attraction and Orange County’s Best Museum by LA Times readers. Tour the most modern presidential museum in the United States to learn about Richard Nixon the man, his life, and his presidency. Click THIS LINK or the image for information and to book your admission.

 

38          Gerald Ford         December 26, 2006         Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum                Grand Rapids, Michigan

39          Jimmy Carter

40          Ronald Reagan   June 5, 2004       Reagan Presidential Library          Simi Valley, California

41          George H. W. Bush          November 30, 2018        George Bush Presidential Library                College Station, Texas

42           Bill Clinton

43           George W. Bush

44           Barrack Obama

45          Donald Trump

46          Joe Biden

 

Thank you for taking this tour of the burial sites of United States Presidents. While these are the most famous men in our countries history, why not take a tour of those who have been forgotten. In Charnel Cemetery in DeLand, FL, you can learn about a cemetery for those who were indigent at death yet were still provided with a proper burial.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

 

In this history-driven memoir, Deion reconstructs his decade-long, cross-country quest and analyzes the evolution of his perspective on the commanders-in-chief and what it means to visit a cemetery. Click the photo to purchase your copy.Find the burial sites of United States Presidents in this interesting book.
In this history-driven memoir, Deion reconstructs his decade-long, cross-country quest and analyzes the evolution of his perspective on the commanders-in-chief and what it means to visit a cemetery. Click THIS LINK or the photo to purchase your copy.
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August 2023 The Best Events and Festivals in Florida

The Best Events and Festivals in Florida

The Best in Florida Festivals and Events August 2023

Florida hosts some amazing events and festivals. Each month I hope to take a look at a dozen or so of these in hopes of bringing you fun, exciting, and unexpected ways to enjoy our state. Let’s look at the best events and festivals in Florida during August 2023 so you can make the most of the waning days of summer.

If you have an event or know of one coming up that you feel should be highlighted, please drop me a line with as much information as you can, including a website. I’ll be glad to include your suggestions in future posts.

Posts are listed in date order.

 

New Smyrna Beach Shrimp and Seafood Festival on Flagler Avenue
Best events and festivals in Florida August 2023August 3     New Smyrna Beach Shrimp and Seafood Festival            New Smyrna Beach

The best restaurants in New Smyrna Beach will be offering sample size portions priced at an economical $5-$8 each, allowing you to try all your favorites. No admission fees.

 

 

August 4th-6th        DanceAfrica Miami       Miami

Includes West African dance and drum instruction, concerts, food trucks, a kid’s village and more. Performers from Senegal, Haiti, Congo, and more are anticipated to participate.

DanceAfrica Miami August 4-6, 2023

August 4th-6th        Jurassic Quest                Daytona Beach

The largest and most realistic Dinosaur Exhibit on tour, featuring true-to-detail (and size!) dinosaurs, including a 60 foot long, sky-scraping Spinosaurus, the 80-foot-long Apatosaurus, and the gigantic LIFESIZE T. Rex.

 

Key West Lobsterfest 
Best events and festivals in Florida August 2023August 10th-13th      26th Annual Key West Lobsterfest           Key West

Seafood lovers can chow down on Florida’s clawless lobster during a tasty “feast-ival” with a savory and packed schedule of events ranging from a traditional lobster boil to special dinners, and a lively street fair. The flavorful festivities celebrate the bounty of the Florida Keys lobster season that opens Aug. 6.

August 11-12        Fernandina Beach Kingfish Tournament and Fishing Rodeo     

With many of North Florida’s big fishing contests held in June and July, Fernandina’s annual family-friendly event also includes an inshore fishing contest. The Kingfish division pays out $10,000 for first place, the inshore Fishing Rodeo pays out for four species: flounder, sea trout, redfish and sheepshead. There are also contests for female and junior anglers.

 

August 12   16th Annual Parade & Commemoration of the 2nd Seminole War             St. Augustine

From 9 a.m.-2 p.m., the Florida National Guard will host the 16th annual Parade & Ceremony commemorating the end of the 2nd Seminole War and those who perished. Free and open to the public, at 10:45 a.m. historians will march to the National Cemetery where the commemoration ceremony will take place at the pyramids and Dade Monument.

 

August 19Best events and festivals in Florida August 2023
Plaid in the Park Mount Dora      Plaid in the Park        Mount Dora

Mount Dora’s beautiful Sunset Park transforms into a scene of Celtic revelry as bagpipe bands, drummers and dancers celebrate the city’s Scottish heritage. Don your kilts and tartans and head downtown for an evening of entertainment, vendors selling teas, jams, pastries and gifts, and other food and drinks for sale. It’s a great way to experience this cute Florida small town and feel immersed in a faraway culture while also supporting small businesses in the downtown district.

 

 

August 19th-20th    Central Florida Home Expo    Orlando

The Central Florida Home Expo features exhibitors with fabulous ideas for consumers. At this show you’ll find the latest in products and services for home improvement. Visitors meet with professionals to make your next remodeling, renovation, landscaping, patio, or decorating project a big success. Free admission.

August 26   Coke Zero Sugar 400      Daytona Beach

The regular season finale before the Chase for the Cup starts, provides that last chance for drivers to qualify for the biggest prize in NASCAR.

 

August 26   FAMU Florida Grape Harvest Festival      Tallahassee

Celebrate family, food, fun, and agricultural discovery in recognition of FAMU’s role as a national leader in viticulture research. Featured activities include the vineyards trailer ride, grape and wine sampling, popular grape stomping contest, water slides, a grape throwing competition, a hula hoop competition, live entertainment, fun vineyard run and walk-a-thon (MAP), grape picking, a health fair, and more than 60 community exhibitors and vendors.

 

August 26   12th Annual Greater St. Pete Cupcake Contest    St. PetersburgSt. Pete Cupcake Contest

The Morean Arts Center invites you to our city-wide search for St. Petersburg’s BEST CUPCAKE!

The contest will be hosted at the Morean Center for Clay located in the Warehouse Arts District at 420 22nd Street South.

Tallahassee Beer Festival August 26, 2023
Best events festivals Florida August 2023August 26   Tallahassee Beer Festival         Tallahassee

General Admission: GA grants you access to the two main sample rooms. And by rooms we mean the entire arena and exhibit space at the Tuck. Beer is everywhere. Soft drinks and water are available for free. Food available for purchase.

 

August 31-September 4   Key West Brewfest         Key West

Brewfest is a multi-day festival hosted by Southernmost Beach Resort! It includes beer pairing dinners, pool parties, tap takeovers, and culminates with a signature tasting event with over 150 beers available for tasting. Events take place at many restaurants, hotels, and bars around town making Brewfest a great way to experience Key West!

Thank you for taking time to review my post of the Best Events and Festivals in Florida during August 2023. Check back each month for more exciting things to do in the Sunshine State.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. Affiliate programs or sponsors providing products do not influence the views and opinions shared on this blog.

Nomatic

 

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30 Best Things to do in Daytona Beach Florida

Welcome to Daytona Beach. Image courtesy Volusia County Properties

Thank you for reading. Here you will find the 30 Best Things to do in Daytona Beach, Florida. Whether you are a visitor, a local, or a day tripper, there are many things that the entire family will enjoy. There are no chain locations or food listings. This list is meant to promote locally based attractions and shops. These are places you won’t find in every community or tourist destination. So jump in, and review the 30 best things to do in Daytona Beach, Florida. 

 

Welcome to Daytona Beach. Image courtesy Volusia County Properties
Welcome to Daytona Beach. Image courtesy Volusia County Properties

DAYTONA BEACH

Known as the World’s Most Famous Beach or the home to the World Center of Racing, Daytona Beach has often staked its reputation and future on these two industries. The beach and the speedway are two things that are not going anywhere. They are the rock on which Daytona’s tourism future still stands. Daytona Beach is much more than the beach and NASCAR however. In fact, here are the 30 best things to do in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Yes, there is bike week and Biketoberfest. But, in speaking with longtime observers these events aren’t quite what they used to be. Sure, they bring people to town but the fact is, this is an aging market. It’s a market that has moved outward. This includes as Destination Daytona in Ormond Beach rather than the older hangouts in Daytona. Other cities within easy driving distance are also siphoning off visitors. In addition, bike events are held around the country. It’s not the novelty it used to be. Almost every tourist mecca has these events so Daytona doesn’t have the uniqueness it did many years ago. Bike Week isn’t going anywhere but I am not sure Daytona Beach should stake its name on the event.

Events come and go. Take spring break. Compared to the heydays’, spring break is almost a non-event today. Black College Reunion? The same thing. Today, in addition to the pop-up truck and jeep events that nobody in town other than hoteliers is interested in, the Welcome to Rockville, multi-day heavy metal concert is one of the biggest annual events. Of course, promoters can take their ball and go home any time they feel unloved or that they can get something better out of another town. I don’t foresee this being an event Daytona will hold on to long term without committing public funds. Local businesses seem to love this event and many claim it is their most profitable special event during the year.

A concern many event attenders voice about Daytona  are accommodations. Many buildings have been damaged by hurricanes and have not reopened. Those that are in business are charging what these visitors consider exorbitant rates. It’s not my place to say whether that’s true or not but visitor actions speak loudly.

And while Daytona Beach often has an identity problem, compounded by multiple groups trying to promote and support tourism, don’t be scared away by the revolving door of publicity campaigns or the negativity about some of the seedier areas of the community. Pay attention to your surroundings, use common sense, and just like in any other city, you’ll be fine and have a good time.

400*350

TRAFFIC

Daytona Beach can run the gamut on traffic congestion.

I have been beach side when there is very little traffic. Mind you, that is during off season and during the work week. International Speedway Boulevard from say, Clyde Morris Boulevard to Beach Street is usually pretty busy no matter the time of year. In the vicinity you have a large high school and two colleges, in addition to ISB being a major thoroughfare to beach side. Congestion is inevitable.

During peak season, say March through August/September back to school, weekend driving can be pretty harsh in spots. If you are coming to town during one of the weeks there are races at the speedway, be prepared for major headaches on International Speedway Boulevard and the highways that funnel onto the road. Pay close attention to any of the temporary electronic billboards on the side of the road and keep an eye out for pedestrians, who often don’t think crosswalks apply to them.

During bike week events in March and October, be on the lookout. Traffic can be busy, especially near the Main Street and Destination Daytona areas. Bikers are notorious for riding in wide and deep packs with many not paying attention to larger vehicles. Bikers weaving in an out of traffic is common and making extra lanes is commonplace.

Spring break and certain truck, jeep, and other pop-up events, sanctioned and unsanctioned, can tie up beach side traffic to a point it is at a stop. Many of these people see a need to cruise slowly up and down A1A, causing gridlock on the narrow and heavily stop lighted A1A.

Summer traffic during the weekends can be heavy as the beach is a popular, low-cost way for people to spend the day. Beach entrances are limited and it just takes time to get cars through the toll booths. Just be patient or scout ahead and find some of the off-beach parking lots.

While we are on the topic of traffic, city leaders have a mind that there must always be some type of road construction going on. This is not usually fixing potholes and the like, but rather, some type of project meant to enhance the city image while usually tying up traffic for long periods and often not having the anticipated outcomes. Just shake your head and drive on. The project will be complete in two years when another will be started.

Google maps and a bit of patience are your friends and will get you around the Daytona Beach area.

Personalized Push Pin Travel Maps

WEATHER

The weather in Daytona Beach can be brutal during the summer months. Don’t let the online historical records tell you otherwise. Weather report numbers are recorded at Daytona Beach International Airport and may not be accurate throughout the area.

The NOAA states that from 1991 through 2020 the average high for the year is 80.6 with a low of 62.5. They claim the average high in July is 90.2 and in August is only 89.8. I strongly believe most locals would challenge these numbers as being too low. Daytona Beach is HOT, there is no way around it. Try shorts and t-shirts on Christmas many years hot.

When it comes to precipitation, be prepared, especially if visiting during late spring through the summer months. Violent thunderstorms can come on rapidly and if you are on the beach, lifeguards will be working to safely clear you out. Getting a packed beach safely cleared is an undertaking but the lifeguards to a fine job. The NOAA states Daytona Beach receives an average of 51.25 inches of rain and 119 rainy days per year.

A word on hurricanes and tropical storms. Don’t be the tough guy trying to brave out a storm beach side. If you are in town and there are evacuation notices issued, pay attention. If you are staying beach side, please remember that bridges are locked down after winds reach a sustained 40 mph. You won’t be able to change your mind and leave and EMS will probably not be able to reach you if something bad happens. It’s rare, but keep a watch on the weather if you are visiting during hurricane season.

Here’s a personal story about Daytona Beach weather. I have been to exactly one NASCAR race at DIS. When I worked in trade books, a couple of book reps were in town for February races and had extra tickets and very generously invited me to attend. This was the Saturday race so the grandstands were not full. We were wrapped in coats and freezing. The temperatures were kind of low and the wind was very strong through the grandstands. Despite the cold, the sun was so strong we all left with sunburned faces and necks.

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WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN DAYTONA BEACH

So, you are thinking of visiting Daytona Beach. Maybe you are already in town on vacation and are looking for things to do. Well, here is a list of 30 best things do in Daytona Beach or local activities you should consider. I have provided hyperlinks to official websites or sites with considerable information. It is recommended you check these sites to confirm open hours and associated costs.

What you will not find on this listing are things such as shopping malls, bars, and restaurants. There may be these type activities associated with a few of the items listed but you can find a shopping mall on your own. Chain restaurants, which proliferate in Daytona Beach, can be found on almost any interstate exit. There is nothing unique or interesting about these places and their Daytona Beach franchises are no different. I strongly urge you to seek out local restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and stores. Daytona has a lot of unique opportunities for you to try.

A word about using this list before you start. Many of these locations begin with the name Daytona or Daytona Beach. It can be easy to overlook this part of the listing but you will not want to miss some of these places.

This listing is alphabetical and not in order of favorites or by category. This list includes locations from Ormond Beach to the north through Port Orange and Ponce Inlet to the south. .

Finally, this list is by no means all inclusive. What are some of your favorites that I have not included? Drop me a line or leave a comment.  Do you own or work at a destination I didn’t include? Let me know. Maybe I will update it to 31 things to do. Did you not enjoy one of the places I have listed. Leave a constructive comment and I will approve it for posting.

Now, get to visiting!

Nomatic

Abraxas Books

256 S. Beach Street

Are you looking for that hard to find title, or maybe something to help pass the time while lying in the sun at the beach? With well over 100,000 titles in stock, Abraxas Books is the place to go.

For full disclosure, I have known Jim, the owner, professionally for well over twenty years. I have purchased hundreds of books from him. He know his books.

Abraxas Books owner Jim Sass and the world famous bookstore cat, Sterling. 30 Best Things to do in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Abraxas Books owner Jim Sass and the world famous bookstore cat Sterling. Image courtesy Abraxas Books.

 

A few words of advice you should heed. Jim loves cats. If you are lucky, his cat Sterling will be in the store. You are not likely to find James Patterson, John Grisham, or other exceedingly popular mainstream fiction authors on the shelves but you may find them on the carts outside. If you are seeking history, art, photography, philosophy, religious history and theory, classic literature, etc. this is your place.

Do not ask for a discount. Seriously. If you are buying multiple books, I have never not seen Jim take care of a customer. Jim is a straight shooter, widely read, and like most book dealers, is a good judge of character. Jim may be intimidating to some, but I tell you from experience, he is a good person and an asset to Daytona Beach.

Angell & Phelps

154 S. Beach Street

Angell & Phelps has been handcrafting chocolates and other candies since 1925. Watch candy makers at work through large windows and purchase their wares to enjoy later. Free samples are provided.

A must visit if you are strolling along Beach Street. Stop in after visiting Abraxas Books and the Halifax Historical Museum or grab a snack before you see a film at Cinematique.

 

Beach

Most visitors to Daytona Beach come for THE BEACH. With over 23 miles of coastline and nearly 500 feet in width at low tide, much of it drivable, beach goers flock to The World’s Most Famous Beach. Please mind the 10 mph speed limit and watch for kids and those not paying attention. It is recommended to swim near staffed lifeguard stations as rip currents are common. These young men and women are well trained and will be able to assist if you are in danger.

It is illegal to disturb sea turtles, hatchlings, or nests. Seriously, if these are marked or you come across them, don’t press your luck. An additional point, don’t dig and leave holes on the beach. Sea turtles and hatchlings can easily become trapped in your hole. If you or your kids just have to dig, fill it in before leaving.

For beach pricing information please visit Volusia Beach Pass. Multiple options are available and off-site parking can often be found for no cost.

Gourmet coffee line benefiting charity projects around the world

Birthplace of Speed Park

Corner of Granada and A1A in Ormond Beach

Relive the earliest days of beach racing and beach speed time trials The park includes monuments and a recreation of the Ormond Garage. The park is free to visit, and the beach is just a very short walk away. Park in the lot across A1A and walk over.

Calle Grande Arches

Calle Grande Street west of US-1 (Ridgewood Avenue) in Holly Hill

Calle Grande Arches Image courtesy Daytona Beach News Journal
Calle Grande Arches Image courtesy Daytona Beach News Journal

Dating to the mid-1920s, the remains of the Calle Grande Arches are a true site to behold.

William Collins Hardesty was the man behind a proposed development called Rio Vista on the Halifax. Plans called for cottages, a large hotel, a golf course, and a canal for gondola rides. Today, the Riviera Hotel remains from the original development, now as an assisted living facility. The golf course is part of the Riviera Country Club.

The still standing arches, which are located at what was to be the entrance to the grand project, are situated on the banks of a dirty canal. The detail put into these columns is incredible. Painted to look like marble they provide the feel of ancient Rome.

When visiting, please use extreme caution and park well off the road. Calle Grande Street is a known for drivers exceeding the speed limit. In the past, drivers have hit and damaged the columns. Visitors should pay attention to where they are walking when visiting the site. Take nothing but photos and do not touch the arches. The arches are not in the best of condition and can easily be damaged. Also, you don’t want to end up taking a header into the canal.

One final word of warning, I have been told that the homeless often congregate around this area. Deal with them at your own risk.

Casements

25 Riverside Drive in Ormond Beach

Located between the Halifax River and the Atlantic Ocean, the Casements was built in 1913 and was purchased in 1918 as the winter home of John D. Rockefeller.

The property was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. It was purchased by the city of Ormond Beach in 1974 with renovations completed in 1979.

The Casements is now a multi-use facility offering visitor tours, workshops, classes, and special event rentals. Be sure to see the Boy Scout and Hungarian folk exhibits located on the third floor. The annual Ormond Beach Celtic Festival is held close by.

On the grounds, be sure to seek out the small marker placed by the Society of American Travel Writers. Please read my post on this marker by using THIS LINK. There are also two identical two-sided state historic markers for The Casements.

Casements Florida historic marker side 1. 30 Best Things to do in Daytona Beach, Florida.
The Casements, Florida Historic Marker Side 1
Casements Florida historic marker side 2
The Casements, Florida Historic Marker Side 2

Cinematique

242 S. Beach Street

Founded in 1991, the 70-seat theater opened in 2010, providing an art house experience to visitors, showing first run independent, foreign, documentary, and art films that would not be available in Volusia County otherwise. This small theater fills a unique niche and has no comparable location in the county.

Ticket prices are around $10 per person. Limited food and drinks are available. Maybe stop in at Angell & Phelps for your movie snacks.

See the website for programming information and dates.

Daytona Beach International Speedway

1801 W. International Speedway Boulevard

First opened in 1959, the “World Center of Racing” annually hosts some of the largest stock car events in NASCAR, including the season opening Daytona 500. Motorcycle races, concerts, vintage car shows, and an incredible, drive through, Christmas lights display are just a few of the things you’ll find throughout the year at the Speedway.

The speedway isn’t about racing only, however. The facility offers guided tours, the NASCAR Racing Experience, an incredible museum, shopping, and more. The One Daytona shopping center is across International Speedway Boulevard.

Be sure to take the self-guided tour outside the facility, including monuments and the NASCAR equivalent of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. See how your hands measure up against some of the greatest drivers in the world.

Daytona Beach Zipline Adventure 

Image courtesy Daytona Zipline Advenutre. 30 best things to do in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Image courtesy Daytona Zipline Adventure

1000 Orange Avenue at Tuscawilla Park (be sure to take a stop at the World War I monument located close by.)

Two different courses are available allowing visitors to fit their schedule, ability, and budget to the attraction.

Test your skills on ladders, wooden bridges, tight rope cables, and zip lines.

Multiple pricing options are available. It’s about $55 to  take both courses, plan on around 3 hours duration. Check their website for more information.

Daytona Ice Arena

2400 S. Ridgewood Avenue #63D in South Daytona

Who says there isn’t ice skating in Florida? The Tampa Bay Lightning have won two Stanley Cups in recent years and the Florida Panthers are a top hockey team also. Several minor league hockey teams call Florida home. Hockey is no longer a Canadian or northeast exclusive.

OK, so you aren’t ready for the NHL. How about a family friendly option instead? From public skating times, to skating and figure skating lessons, to hockey clinics, you can find it here in a clean and safe indoor environment.

Check the website for times and prices.

Daytona Lagoon

601 Earl Street, located beach side, adjacent to the Ocean Center and the large parking garage. Nearby you will also find the Tourist Church, referenced below.

Located just a block from the beach, Daytona Lagoon has something for every member of the family: thrill slides, pools, go-karts, laser tag, arcade games, mini golf, a sky maze rope course, and more.

The waterpark is of course the main attraction here. It features several fun slides including Kraken’s Revenge, the Shaka Halfpipe, Blackbeard’s Revenge, and more. There is a lazy river, a lagoon pool, and a children’s play area for younger visitors. Life jackets and lifeguards are on site.

The best parking is in the County of Volusia parking garage located adjacent to the park. Parking costs $8 but bring your garage ticket and they will validate your visit and you will pay only $4 to park. That’s a great deal and your car stays cool in the heat of the day.

Visit the website for multiple ticket pricing options.

eCampus.com

 

Flea and Farmers Market

1425 Tomoka Farms Road

Open 9a-5p Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, this market, which opened in 1981, features over 1,000 booths and 600 vendors over many acres. From antiques to vegetables to cell phone cases to getting a tattoo, you can find it here. Parking, admission, and people watching are free.

For car enthusiasts, the first Saturday of the month features a Classic Car Cruise In.

Gnome Tree

1037 Riverside Drive in Holly Hill

Started in 2003 by a local couple, the original display of three gnomes at the base of a large oak tree has grown to several hundred gnomes who now “inhabit” the picturesque tree.

They even have a Facebook Page, The Gnomes of Holly Hill, Florida. Want more? There is a short, self published book available as well. Click THIS LINK to find it and purchase your own copy.

Halifax Historical Museum

252 S. Beach Street

Located in the County of Volusia owned, Merchants Bank Building, the Halifax Historical Museum is home to hundreds of items of local interest including artifacts, photos, souvenirs, and family mementos. The bank building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is a site to see on its own.

Located next to Abraxas Books (see above). Afterwards, stop in at Stavro’s Pizza House located just two doors from the museum.

Parking is free. Museum admission is $10 for adults, under age 12 are free. Closed Sunday and Monday.

An overhead view of City Island Ballpark, now Jackie Robinson Ballpark, close to how it looked when future Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson played there.
An overhead view of City Island Ballpark, now Jackie Robinson Ballpark close to how it looked when future Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson played there.

Jackie Robinson Ballpark

105 E. Orange Avenue

Originally opened in 1914 as City Island Ball Park, the present set up of field and seating dates to 1962. The field is currently home to the Bethune Cookman Wildcats baseball team and the Daytona Tortugas, the Cincinnati Reds low A farm team.

The ballpark is named after Hall of Fame player Jackie Robinson. It was in this stadium that he played his first spring training game in 1946. Stadiums in both Jacksonville and Sanford would not allow a mixed-race team to play on their fields and now Daytona Beach holds the honor of having hosted Robinson’s first game.

The ballpark was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

Learn about the history of Jackie Robinson Day and how it is celebrated in Major League Baseball at THIS LINK.

LPGA International

1000 Champions Drive

Golf lovers have a top-notch reason to visit Daytona Beach. The home course of the LPGA Tour, LPGA International features two, eighteen-hole courses designed by Arthur Hills and Rees Jones.

Also onsite are a three-hole practice course, chipping and putting areas, a driving range, Malcolm’s Bar and Grill, a pro shop, and member only facilities.

Visit the website to book a tee time or learn more about membership.

Looking to play golf around Volusia County? Take a look at my listing of golf courses in the county HERE.

Gourmet coffee line benefiting charity projects around the world

Marine Science Center

100 Lighthouse Drive in Ponce Inlet

Not to be confused with the Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach, the Marine Science Center, which opened in 2002, is operated by the County of Volusia.

From their website, this remarkable project has allowed Volusia County to stand at the forefront of county government efforts to educate our public about the marine resources of our area and to rehabilitate and release sea turtles and seabirds.

The site includes a nature trail, boardwalk, multiple exhibits, a touch pool that features several types of marine life including rays, and Turtle Terrace, where visitors can witness turtle rehabilitation in process.

In its twenty years of operation the facility has cared for more than 20,000 sea turtles and more than 18,000 birds in addition to hosting more than one million visitors.

Be sure to visit the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse if you visit here (see below for lighthouse information.)

Closed on Monday. Adult admission is $8, seniors $7, children ages 3-12 are $5.

Mary McLeod Bethune House and Grave

Mary McLeod Bethune home Image courtesy National Park Service. 30 Best Things to do in Daytona Beach, Florida
Mary McLeod Bethune home. Image courtesy National Park Service

640 Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard

The home was built in 1905 and purchased for Dr. Bethune in 1913 and served as her primary residence until her death in 1955.

The home appears to be temporarily closed for tours. When it reopens guided tours from Foundation employees and student workers are free, but donations are accepted. I took a tour a couple of years ago and the student giving the tour was knowledgeable, friendly, and quite accommodating to our group.

The home was dedicated as a National Historic Landmark in 1975.

Dr. Bethune is buried near the home on the campus of Bethune Cookman University.

This is certainly one of the underappreciated gems of Daytona Beach. Make the time to visit if it is open.

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Museum of Arts and Sciences

352 S. Nova Road

MOAS features many permanent, rotating, and traveling exhibits.

The Charles and Linda Williams Children’s Museum is a favorite for families. Also, a family favorite are the Root Family Museum exhibits including Coca-Cola memorabilia, a train station including two mid-century cars, a collection of teddy bears, and more. Every child will want to see the thirteen-foot-tall giant ground sloth fossil in the Prehistory of Florida gallery.

For adults, the Cuban collection is world renowned. African tribal objects, arms and armor, the gallery of American art, decorative arts, and Chinese art are available. The planetarium will be a hit with both adults and children in your group.

The Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art features perhaps the greatest collection of Florida art in the world. At more than 2,600 pieces the museum does a great job or rotating exhibits.

The museum is open seven days a week. A ticket combination package for MOAS and the Brown Museum is under $20 for adults. Separate pricing is available. A great bargain for art and history enthusiasts. This is without question one of the best museums in the state.

If you only have time for one activity, this is the one I recommend!

Ocean Center

101 N. Atlantic Avenue

The Ocean Center is located adjacent to Daytona Lagoon  and Peabody Auditorium and only a couple blocks from the Tourist Church. There is a parking garage across the street. The Ocean Center has parking on site but there is sometimes a charge, particularly if events are going on.

Conveniently located directly across from the World’s Most Famous Beach, the Ocean Center features an arena that can hold 9,000 people, an exhibit hall with over 93,000 square feet of space, and multiple conference and breakout rooms.

I have included the Ocean Center because it features a large public art collection that may be viewed during open hours. Also on site is the ECHO Gallery, an area of rotating exhibits featuring the ECHO themes; environmental, cultural, heritage, outdoor.

Be sure to take a virtual tour on the facility website.

Ormond Memorial Art Museum & Gardens

78 E. Granada Boulevard in Ormond Beach

Ormond Memorial Art Museum & Gardens building. Image courtesy of the museum
Image courtesy Ormond Memorial Art Museum & Gardens

Just as World War II came to an end, one artist with a vision, and the people of Ormond Beach, worked together to create something magical.

Artist Malcolm Fraser offered a collection of his life’s work to any town along the east coast of Florida that would create an art museum that paid tribute to veterans. Ormond Beach and her residents rose to the occasion and worked together to create a living monument to creative freedom and equality of all persons, and to commemorate the service of World War I & II veterans who fought valiantly for that ideal.

Today, the newly remodeled and expanded museum offers permanent exhibits, traveling shows, virtual exhibits, and courses of all type.

The Gardens offer native and exotic plants and provide a perfect backdrop for weddings and other celebrations. While touring the Gardens be sure to seek out the military plaques and sculptures.

Open Monday through Friday 10a-4p and weekends noon to four. Admission is free but a $2 donation is recommended. This is one of the best values an art lover will find.

eCampus.com

Pinewood Cemetery

Main Street across from the Boothill Saloon. The Boothill itself can be quite the destination if you are so inclined. As the saying goes, “Come on in and grab a seat. You’re better off here than across the street.”

Pinewood Cemetery, also known as Peninsula Cemetery, dates to the late 1880s, and contains the final resting spots for many of Daytona Beach’s earliest pioneers including names such as Day, Burgoyne, and Jackson. Military headstones indicate burials of men who fought in several different wars are interred her.

Cemetery hours look to be Monday through Saturday, 8 am-5 pm; closed on Sunday. The walk through the cemetery can be uneven so dress appropriately.

Polynesian Luau

Hawaiian Inn Beach Resort 2301 S. Atlantic Avenue in Daytona Beach Shores

An authentic interactive luau experience featuring hula dancing, flaming knife dancing, and more. Suitable for all ages. Includes an all you can eat tropical meal with dishes such as teriyaki chicken, kalua pork, Hawaiian pizza, multiple side dish options, Pepsi products, and a cash bar.

Current show times are at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday. Make your reservations through the website. Tickets look to be about $50 for adults.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse
Image courtesy Ponce Inlet Lighthouse. 30 Best Things to do in Daytona Beach, Florida.

4931 S. Peninsula Drive in Ponce Inlet

Step back in time and climb 175 feet of fun in the Florida sun at the Ponce Inlet Light Station and Museum! Constructed in 1887, the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse has guided mariners along the Florida coast for more than 130 years.

Admission is about $7 for adults, with several discount programs available. Climb all 203 steps to the top if you dare. Remember, you have to come back down also. The views are worth it!

Be sure to visit the Marine Science Center if you are at the lighthouse. See the information above.

 

The lighthouse was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1998

Port Orange Sugar Mill

950 Old Sugar Mill Road in Port Orange

Also known as Dunlawton Sugar Mill Gardens, the property is operated by a not-for-profit corporation and owned by the County of Volusia. Entrance is free and donations are appreciated. Donations benefit the not-for-profit organization and help them with park upkeep.

The property contains dozens of gardens and plants, but the real star of the show is the remains of a 19th century sugar factory that were part of the Dunlawton Plantation. Multiple interpretive panels will guide you through the history of the land and the artifacts you will find onsite. Don’t be surprised if you see a dinosaur or two while you are on the park grounds!

You will often find volunteers onsite who can provide information on the plants and flowers.

Woman running in Orthofeet Sneakers

Southeast Museum of Photography

1200 W. International Speedway Boulevard (on the Daytona State College campus)

One of several excellent art museums in the Daytona area, the Southeast Museum of Photography exhibits, collects, preserves, and interprets photography to facilitate teaching and learning at Daytona State College and enhances the community’s understanding of, and appreciation of culture, history, and photography.

Check the website for current exhibits, dates, times, and special events.

Streamline Hotel

140 S. Atlantic Avenue

Opened in 1940, this is the hotel where NASCAR was born! Once a dilapidated flophouse, the now fully renovated boutique hotel once served as local headquarters for the Women’s Auxiliary Corp during World War II.

Located directly across from the beach, the rooftop bar offers incredible views, or have dinner at the Victory Lane restaurant.

An early postcard image of the Streamline Hotel. 30 Best Things to Do in Daytona Beach, Florida
An early postcard image of the Streamline Hotel

 

Timucua Indian Burial Mound

Corner of S. Beach Street and Mound Avenue in Ormond Beach

For information on the burial mound and the recent efforts to preserve this landmark, please see my blog post using THIS LINK.

Tomoka State Park

2099 N. Beach Street in Ormond Beach

Tomoka is a bird-watcher’s paradise, with over 160 species sighted, especially during the spring and fall migrations. Visitors can stroll a half-mile nature trail through a hardwood hammock that was once an indigo field for an 18th-century British landowner.

The park protects a variety of wildlife habitats and endangered species such as the West Indian manatee. For many visitors however, Chief Tomokie is a highlight of the park.

A boat ramp gives boaters and canoeists access to the river. The park store offers snacks, camping supplies, and canoe rentals.

For overnight stays, the park has full-facility campsites and youth camping.

Learn more about Chief Tomokie by reading my BLOG POST HERE.

Chief Tomokie at Tomoka State Park
Chief Tomokie at Tomoka State Park in Ormond Beach shown in a vintage postcard.30 Best things to do in Daytona Beach, Florida

 

Tourist Church

501 N. Wild Olive Avenue

The Tourist Church, also known as the Seabreeze United Church of Christ and the First Congregational Church, is an historic church located at 501 North Wild Olive Avenue in Daytona Beach, Florida, United States. Built in 1929, it was designed by architect Harry Griffin in the Mission Revival Style of architecture. Today it is an active United Church of Christ congregation.

On October 6, 1995, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

You need to see this church to understand just how interesting it is. From the coquina to the stained glass. It’s worth the stop especially if you are visiting the Ocean Center or Daytona Lagoon. They are very close to each other.

Tourist Church Daytona Beach, FL. 30 Best Things to do in Daytona Beach, Florida
The Tourist Church as depicted in an early 20th century postcard.

 

I hope you have enjoyed the 30 best things to do in Daytona Beach, Florida and that it makes your visit a memorable one. Please let me know of your favorites or places I should add.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products. 

If you are visiting Daytona Beach, make the short drive to Sanford and visit the Central Florida Zoo.
If you are visiting Daytona Beach, make the short drive to Sanford and visit the Central Florida Zoo. Click this link or the image for your “skip the line” tickets.

 

 

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Gabordy Canal Historic Marker New Smyrna Beach Florida

Placement of the Gabordy Canal marker, adjacent to Riverside Drive

Gabordy Canal

The Gabordy Canal Historic Marker is located where the cities of New Smyrna Beach and                                            Edgewater come together. The name of this canal is often spelled in differing ways. I have                                         seen alternative spellings of Gabardy, Garbordy, and Garbardy.

The Gabordy Canal marks the dividing line between the city of New Smyrna
Beach, to the north, and Edgewater, to the south.

This marker is located on the eastern side of the road, near the corner of Riverside
Drive (north and south) and Hamilton Road (west). Private property surrounds the area                                                and the marker is located close to the busy south Riverside Drive.
There is really no parking right at the marker (don’t park in people’s yards). There
is a sidewalk located on the eastern side of Riverside Drive. See the image below to note
just how close this marker is to the road.

Placement of the Gabordy Canal marker, adjacent to Riverside Drive
The Gabordy Canal historic marker, sits adjacent to the busy Riverside Drive.

 

Problems

This marker, while important, has multiple problems in its text.

The marker itself does not talk much about the canal system. The marker also uses
the terms “colonization” and colonist” when the more accurate terms are
“settlement” and “settler” (as in the Turnbull, or Smyrnea, Settlement). The use of
terminology related to the word colony implies Florida could have been associated
with the original thirteen colonies we have learned about since grade school.

The marker references the number of over 1,400 persons being “attracted” to the area.
While there is some truth to this number, it being the number who originally left
Europe, less than 1,300 appear to have survived the journey. Archaeologists Dr.
Roger Grange and Dorothy Moore have put forth the number of 1,255 who
survived the voyage across the Atlantic. As to whether those owing indenture to                                              Andrew Turnbull and his partners were “attracted” to the area, I think history                                                     showed that is highly debatable.

Finally, though the marker text states that Governor (James) Grant granted release
to the settlers from their indenture, it was Governor Patrick Tonyn, (who served as
governor of East Florida from 1774-1783) a confirmed enemy of Turnbull, who
did such. (See Grange and Moore p. 25, linked below)

For more information on the Smyrnea Settlement, I recommend reading a booklet
written by Dr. Grange and Ms. Moore and published by the New Smyrna Museum
of History. In addition to clicking the link provided above, you may pick up a free copy at the museum.

I also recommend reviewing the University of North Florida, Florida History Online site for letters and papers related to the Smyrnea Settlement.

 

Marker Text

The Gabordy Canal

Gabordy Canal Historic Marker New Smyrna Beach, Florida
The State of Florida historic marker, located at the divide between New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater, FL

The Gabordy Canal, also known as the South Canal, was built by colonists brought to the New Smyrna area in 1768 by the Scottish physician, Dr. Andrew Turnbull. As part of the largest single attempt at British colonization, New Smyrna attracted more than 1,400 Minorcans, Corsicans, Greeks, and Italians who sought new opportunities as indentured servants. Turnbull, impressed by the Egyptian canal system, wanted to replicate it in New Smyrna. Three canals, including this one, ran east-west and were linked with a fourth, longer canal that ran north-south. These hand dug canals provided irrigation and drainage  or rice, hemp, cotton, and indigo crops grown by the colonists and served as a mode of transportation withing the colony. Local historians believe that the Gabordy Canal was named after the Gabardis, an original colonist family who lived in the vicinity of the canal. After nine years of harsh treatment, drought, and crop failures, the population was reduced to about 600 people. A group of colonists petitioned English Governor James Grant of St. Augustine in 1777 for release from their indenture. The governor granted land north of St. Augustine to these colonists.

A Florida Heritage Site

Sponsored by the City of New Smyrna Beach, the Historic New Smyrna Beach
Preservation Commission, Mayor James Hathaway, Vice Mayor Judy Reiker,
Commissioner Jake Sachs, Commissioner Jason McGuirk, Commissioner Kirk
Jones, and the Florida Department of State.

F-924
2016

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a
purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect
any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are
never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

 

Menorca: Book your guided tour of Mahon including boat trip
Click the photo above or THIS LINK to book your Menorcan guided tour of Mahon. Discover the southern tip of Menorca on a guided day trip. After pickup at your hotel, enjoy a 1-hour glass-bottom boat trip around Mahon Harbor, one of the deepest natural harbors in the world. Next, head into Mahon city center. Explore the capital’s historic center with official guida and enjoy some free time for shopping. Continue to Punta Prima Beach and enjoy some free time for sunbathing or lunch (at your own expense.) Finally, visit the fishermens’ village of Binibeca. Wander its streets to admire the white-painted houses and picturesque streets. You will be dropped off at your hotel at the end of the day.

 

 

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Why Public History: An Example

Connor Library Building New Smyrna Beach

Why Public History? An Example.

People occasionally me my interests and what drives them. As you know, I use the moniker, Robert Redd Historian. It’s on my website, my Facebook page, my Twitter, my Instagram, my Pinterest, and my YouTube. OK, enough self-promotion there. Seriously, please click the links and feel free to give me a follow. I am generous in following back if the sites let me know you are there. The inevitable follow up is why public history. They want an example. Well, here you go, Why Public History: An example.

So, some of you may know I have a B.A. in American Studies and an M.A. in Public History. Just what is public history? That’s a fair question.

From the National Council on Public History, we get this definition; “public history describes the many and diverse ways in which history is put to work in the world.  In this sense, it is history that is applied to real-world issues.”

Just who “does” public history? Again, a fair question and we’ll again turn to NCPH, “They call themselves historical consultants, museum professionals, government historians, archivists, oral historians, cultural resource managers, curators, film and media producers, historical interpreters, historic preservationists, policy advisers, local historians, and community activists, among many many other job descriptions.  All share an interest and commitment to making history relevant and useful in the public sphere.”

Finally, how is public history used? Back to our friends at NCPH, “Although public historians can sometimes be teachers, public history is usually defined as history beyond the walls of the traditional classroom.  It can include the myriad ways that history is consumed by the general public.”

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So, we have a decent enough, but maybe not perfect, definition of public history. If I had to go back and choose from these quotes, I would make note of the last sentence, “…the myriad ways that history is consumed by the general public.”

Ultimately, as a public historian there are several key ingredients you must possess. The first is the field and study of history. The commitment to honesty, telling a full, complete, and unbiased story. While you may go into a story thinking you already know the outcome, that is often not the case. The public historian has to be willing to change their preconceived notions on a subject if the evidence leads them in that direction. This can make people, including sponsors, uncomfortable. As the American Historical Association states “Historians should practice their craft with integrity. They should honor the historical record. They should document their sources. They should acknowledge their debts to the work of other scholars. ”

A second important trait is the ability to understand your target audience. You must be able to relate to people. You must be able to talk AND listen. You must be able to work collaboratively. Even if your project is solo (or so you think), others are going to have input. If you are creating interpretive panels others are going to need to see them and provide input before the file is sent to production. If you are writing reports, editors will have input. If you are doing consulting work, those who hired you will want to review your work before it is released. You get the idea.

Finally, you need to be able to write in a manner that will make the public want to read what you are trying to get across. I love my academic friends, but often in reading a university press title, it is obvious it was written for an academic market with little consideration of public consumption. It’s too bad because the years of research that go into these books should be shared. OK, another fault with university press titles  is that they can also be priced through the roof but that’s not the author’s fault.

If you have been to a national park and seen the panels there, or a battlefield with text panels near artillery you have seen what is most likely excellent public history. State and local parks often have excellent panels. Some parks will have booklets available for purchase at a nominal cost. These are often the work of staff historians, working with the public in mind.

Museums are another prime location for public history. Many museums are too text heavy for me, as the trend is often to move away from showing the real artifacts and instead “teach” visitors about subjects. Too often, these are exhibits that are full of long panels that do not take into consideration interest levels, attention spans, and time constraints of visitors.

Museums often are accused of being “revisionist,” whatever that might mean. I suppose if correcting false or incomplete narratives of the past makes one a “revisionist,” most public historians, when doing their job correctly, can proudly wear that label.

Online exhibits are becoming an excellent option and the public historian must know how to engage viewers quickly to keep them from clicking away. This takes skills in writing, technology, visual layout, and of course teamwork because there will be multiple experts working on such projects.

Connor Library Building New Smyrna BeachWhy Public History: An Example
The former Connor Library Building located in Old Fort Park in New Smyrna Beach, FL

 

Close up of the sign outside the old Connor Library Building New Smyrna BeachWhy Public History: An Example
When asked “why public history” Here’s an example. This close up of the sign outside the Economic Development offices (the Old Connor Library Building) located in Old Fort Park in New Smyrna Beach, FL gives us plenty to discuss.

 

SO, the real reason for this post, WHY PUBLIC HISTORY: An Example, can be found in this building photo and the accompanying detailed photo. This seems like a pretty innocent image of an old building, with a small sign in front telling those passing by what the building is. It is now home to the Economic Development department of the City of New Smyrna Beach.

This sign could not have been written by a public historian. There are multiple problems with it that we shall examine.

The first issue for me is the mixed message I get as a viewer. We have the current use (got to get those logos in don’t we). The colors don’t match, the font doesn’t match, and there doesn’t seem to have a reason for having these differences.

The fact that this is two separate signs makes the hanging sign, with the rust stain running down it, look like an afterthought at best. Then there’s whatever garbage is on the ground in front of the sign, but I can forgive that. A good city employee will pick that up as soon as they see it.

So, the first thing we need are two separate signs in my opinion. Personally, I would not even have two signs. The original sign, stating the current use of the building is fine. For any information about the prior use of the building, I would create an interpretive panel (some of you might call it a sign and that’s OK). These panels can get a bit pricey and can not be printed by local sign manufacturers, if you do it correctly. These panels will need the work of a historian, a graphic designer, an editor, and cooperation with a producer such as iZone Imaging.

My second issue with this hanging sign is the overall wording that has been used. “Former location of the N.S.B. free library 1901-1941.”

Where to begin here. I guess first is that there is no reason to underline the word former. You have already told people what offices are now in the building. Nobody believes it is the current New Smyrna Beach library.

My second issue with the wording is the abbreviating of the city name to N.S.B. Just spell it out. Yes, we all know what it means, but would it have really cost that much more to spell out your own city name? And how about a comma after the word library?

MagazineValues.com

Finally, the use of the term “free library” has caused problems. How do I know? I have had visitors to the city personally tell me that an employee in the building told them the library was created specifically for freed slaves living in the area. Oh, my. If I had only been told the story once, I wouldn’t think much of it. More than once, by different people on different occasions is problematic. Where that story originated is beyond me but I have to attribute it, at least partly, to the language on the sign. Fortunately, that employee is no longer in the building but how many people, locals and visitors, did she tell that story to.

My final problem is that the sign is just badly written and leaves out, well, the entire story. Yes, this building is the home of the former library. The operating dates are accurate based upon what is known. The problem is, this building was moved to its current location in 1991. The wording of the sign strongly implies that the building has always been located in Old Fort Park.

While I do not know when this hanging sign was installed, if was after 2015, a very cursory review of my book, Historic Sites and Locations of New Smyrna Beach, would have helped tremendously and pointed the creator to source material. I would have gladly helped whoever was creating the sign. Even if the sign was installed prior, very limited research would have helped create a more accurate, and interesting, story.


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What is the sign leaving out you might ask.

The founders of the library, Washington and Jeanette Connor are never referenced. Who were they and what was their connection to New Smyrna (it wasn’t New Smyrna Beach at the time.) How did the prior toll bridge tie into the story? How did the city gain ownership of the building? Where was the library located prior to its move? Why was it moved at all? What remodeling and renovation work has been done to the building? Who else has had use of the building since it was moved?

So as we can see, the use of a public historian to create a better interpretive panel, or panels, for this century plus year old building could have answered many  questions that visitors and locals might have. This area is a busy one, especially during Saturday farmers markets and during the large number of downtown events and festivals the city holds. A proper panel, or series of panels, would supply to readers an accurate and more complete version of events.

For a town that attempts to pride itself on its history, this is an issue that should be addressed. City of New Smyrna Beach, I am easy to find!

Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings on the importance of proper public history. I think you can now better understand the question of Why Public History based upon this example. What examples of incomplete or bad public history have you encountered? Share your Why Public History: An Example experiences with other readers.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

New Smyrna Beach paddleboad. Click the link for information and to purchase tickets for an incredible day on the river. Why public history: an example blog post.
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Lee Harvey Oswald Rooming House Museum in Dallas Texas

Oswald Rooming House Museum Dallas Texas

Oswald Rooming House Museum                                                                        1026 N. Beckley Avenue                                                                                    Dallas, TX 75203                                                                                            469-261-7806                                                                                              oswaldroominghouse@yahoo.com

 

Oswald Rooming House Museum Dallas Texas
Oswald Rooming House Museum in Dallas, Texas

 

Located in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, Texas, is a home that most people would walk by without giving a second look. The only reason you might notice the home now, is the small sign announcing it as the Oswald Rooming House Museum.

The home was built in 1923 and has three bedrooms and was purchased by Gladys Johnson in 1943. Behind the main building is a two story garage containing eight rooms. Johnson maintained the property as a rooming house, providing up to eighteen rentable rooms. The property was operated as a rooming house until 2012. The property was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.

Lee Harvey Oswald after arrest in 1963
Lee Harvey Oswald after his arrest

One of those renting a room was Lee Harvey Oswald. On October 14, 1963, Oswald rented a small bedroom in the home at a rate of $8 per week. For some reason, Oswald used the name O.H. Lee in renting the room. The room, just off the dining area, consisted of a small bed, table, lamp, and wardrobe for his clothes. The bed was placed against a wall with a window looking out to the side of the home.

It is easy to imagine that Oswald would have had little privacy in the six weeks that he roomed here. His room was located right off the main living room area and it was no doubt a high traffic area with the communal telephone located near his door. While living at the rooming house, Oswald was employed at the Texas School Book Depository (now the Sixth Floor Museum). The rooming house was only about two miles from his employer.

Oswald spent the weekdays at the Beckley Avenue home and returned to Irving, TX on weekends, where his wife, Marina Nikolayevna Oswald, and two children lived in rented quarters. They lived in the home of Ruth Hyde Paine. It was at the Paine home where Oswald hid the rifle it is said he used to kill President John F. Kennedy.

 

On the evening of November 21, 1963, Oswald uncharacteristically spent the night at the Paine home and it was then that he removed the stashed rifle from the garage before returning to Dallas.

The events that followed are of course subject to debate, as they have been for sixty years and probably will be for another sixty or more. With that in mind, I recommend a trip to the Sixth Floor Museum in order to get a good grip on the assassination basics. From there, there are literally hundreds of books, websites, and blogs that can help you make your own interpretation of events that unfolded that day and in the days, weeks, and months, after.

What is known, is that Oswald returned to the Johnson home where he was witnessed by housekeeper Earlene Roberts. Roberts testified that Oswald entered the home quickly, went to his room, and left several minutes later with a jacket from his wardrobe. It is believed Oswald also left with a pistol.

Officer J.D. Tippit Dallas Police Department photo. Learn more about Trippet and the Kennedy Assassination by visiting the Oswald Rooming House Museum.
Photo of officer J.D. Tippit distributed by the Dallas Police Department

 

Shortly thereafter, less than a mile from the Johnson home, in a confrontation not fully understood, Oswald is believed to have shot and killed Dallas police officer J. D. Tippit. I use the term “believed to have” based upon the fact that no trial occurred and Oswald was never convicted of the murder. Most people believe that Tippit was killed after having stopped Oswald based upon the description of the man believed to have shot the President.

Jim Garrison is one of the leading detractors of the Oswald killed Tippit story. Others believe Tippit may have been involved in a conspiracy or involved in some manner in the assassination plot. Garrison passed away in 1992. Garrison’s work was essential to the Oliver Stone film JFK. An online memorial to Garrison may be found HERE.

Tippit, aged 39, was an eleven-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department, after serving in the United States Army during World War II. Tippit’s funeral was held on November 25, 1963 and was attended by more than 2,000 people, including at least 800 fellow law enforcement officers. An online memorial to Officer Tippit may be found HERE.

Today, at the corner of 10th Street and Patton Avenue, there is a commemorative marker recognizing Tippit’s role in the capture of Lee Harvey Oswald.

 

Historic Marker in honor of Officer J. D. Tippit
Historic marker in honor of Officer J. D. Tippit.

 

 

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After the encounter with Tippit, Oswald entered the Texas Theatre, on Jefferson Boulevard some time around 1:15p.m.

The Texas Theatre was built in 1931 and was designed by architect W. Scott Dunne. At the time, it was the largest suburban theatre in the state. In 2003, the Texas Theatre was added to the National Register of Historic Places based upon its importance to the local community in the area of Recreation/Entertainment and its national importance for the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald.

Accounts of when Oswald arrived at the theatre vary from around 1p to 1:30p depending upon who you believe. Stories generally state that Oswald did not pay the required admission fee and had been acting erratically outside the building.

At around 1:45, Dallas police converged on the theatre, where Oswald, with gun in hand, was apprehended after a minor struggle. He hadn’t been connected to the Kennedy Assassination at this point.

Texas Theatre
Exterior of the Texas Theatre

 

Texas Theatre historic marker
The Texas Theatre where Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested. This is located near the Oswald Rooming House Museum in Dallas, TX.

But what of the Oswald Rooming House Museum?

Today, the home is owned and operated by Patricia Puckett-Hall, the granddaughter of Gladys Johnson, the owner when Oswald stayed in the home. Several years ago, she had put the house on the  market for around $500,00 but pulled the listing. The home is in need of some repair work and our tour guide told us that Ms. Puckett-Hall is actively seeking this funding.

The museum can be accessed in two manners. The first is to arrange a tour directly with Ms. Puckett-Hall by email or phone (her contact information, taken from her business card, is located at the beginning of this post.) I have seen a few different fees and rules posted online in reviews. Fees seem to range from $20-$40 per person. Rules on photography seem to vary as well. It is possible that they have just evolved over time.

House tours, which consist of the main room of the home and the small Oswald bedroom, can be arranged for two-hour visits with Ms. Puckett-Hall. She will be available to discuss the home and her memories of Oswald. She was a young girl at the time and spent time at her grandmother’s home when Oswald was a resident. The opportunity to talk about Oswald with someone who actually knew him, is an opportunity that will not be available for many more years. Pat will also discuss her views on the assassination and what she thinks Oswald’s role was. If you are a die-hard Kennedy Assassination buff, this is the way to go.

The second option is how we visited the home. We took a guided Kennedy Assassination Tour and the Oswald Museum and admission to the Sixth Floor Museum were included. Our guide was able to answer questions, provide background, and present strong historical context. There were no photography restrictions at the museum, though access was limited to the two rooms.

The home is set up as it was during the 1963 television interview with Earlene Roberts. The bedroom is set up as it was when Oswald lived there. The furniture is that used by Oswald, with the exception of the mattress that has been replaced. Several replica items of items owned by Oswald are on display.

Lee Harvey Oswald's bed located at the Oswald Rooming House Museum in Dallas, TX.
Lee Harvey Oswald bed, note how narrow the room is and the window right next to the bed.
Cabinet located in Oswald's bedroom where he stored a pistol, at the Oswald Rooming House Museum in Dallas, TX.
The cabinet in Lee Harvey Oswald’s bedroom where he took his coat and pistol from after having returned to the home after the assassination of President Kenney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the main room, it looks like time has been frozen. Everything has a strong dated sense and there is no doubt you are in the early to mid-1960s. My understanding is that with limited exceptions, these are furnishings original to the home at the time of the assassination, including the telephone that Oswald used to talk with his wife while staying in the home.

Main living room area in the Oswald Room House
This view shows the main living room at the Gladys Johnson house close to how it looked when Lee Harvey Oswald lived there. Oswald’s room would be behind us and to the right.
A view of what the rooming house looked like with a piano on the right.
The Oswald Rooming House Museum has been kept as close to the original as possible. Oswald’s room would be to our left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The telephone that Oswald would have used to call his wife in Irving, Texas at the Oswald Rooming House Museum.
Outside of Oswald’s room was this phone that he would have used to call and speak with his wife while living in the boarding house. It is said he spoke with her in Russian.

 

For anybody interested in the Kennedy assassination, and why would you have interest in this home for any other reason, this small house museum is a must visit. It may not be set up to “professional museum standards” but what you are witnessing is real history. Perhaps a couple of small interpretive panels would be helpful, but at times, these attempts to tell viewers what they are seeing become overwhelming. Sometimes it is best to just let the viewer see things and work through them on their own. That is how I felt here. If you go to the Sixth Floor Museum, you will be overwhelmed with panels to read.

Both visiting options have their positives. We chose the longer guided tour option in order to get as wide a view of the assassination as possible. Of course, we also had the ability to commit to a longer part of a day. For us, this was well worth the time and expense.

For those with only an hour or two, or with an intense interest in the assassination, getting in contact with the owner offers a unique perspective and comes with a smaller time and financial commitment.

For those interested in the most famous document regarding the Kennedy Assassination, the National Archives has the Warren Commission Report available online.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

 

Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas Texas
Enjoy skip the line tickets to the Sixth Floor Museum, along with entry to the Oswald Rooming House Museum, along with many other sites in this incredible four-hour guided van and walking tour. Your knowledgeable guide will take you to all the major locations associated with the Kennedy Assassination. Did Oswald act alone? You decide! CLICK HERE or the photo above for more information and to purchase tickets for this incredible tour. It’s a tour you won’t regret or forget.
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A Guide to the Western North Carolina Cheese Makers Trail

Western North Carolina Cheese Trail

Are you a fan of artisan cheese or specialty foods? Are you a traveler seeking an out of the ordinary travel itinerary? Are you in western North Carolina and looking for a fun way to spend a weekend? Do you prefer to shop local and support local, small business? Do you enjoy finding that perfect birthday or holiday gift that the recipient will never expect? If you answered yes to any of these questions or the ideas sound appealing, I strongly recommend you use this Guide to the North Carolina Cheese Makers Trail to plan your tour through the Western North Carolina Cheese Trail!

This unique grouping of artisan cheese makers came together in 2012 with the stated goal “To promote production and sale of WNC artisan cheese, facilitate consumer education, and encourage tourism to the region to benefit our members.” While we didn’t get to every stop on the trail, having visited several of these incredible artisans, I can highly recommend following the trail. The cheeses are varied and delicious and the cheese makers are friendly and passionate about what they do.

Many of the cheese makers listed below focus on goats milk in making their cheeses. A lot of people do not like goat cheese. Food & Wine magazine has put together a listing of common misconceptions and mistakes people make about goat cheese. I encourage you to read this brief article. 

Th WNCCT volunteer organization does a tremendous job promoting their members and each year hosts the annual Carolina Mountain Cheese Festivala gathering  that draws more than thirty cheese and artisan food producers to a beautiful location, providing businesses and customers a chance to mingle, renew acquaintances, and seek out the finest in artisan cheese. Check the website linked above for future events.

So, without further ado, lets take a look at the WNC Cheese Trail. Below, you will find a map of the trail. I will follow along the numbered trail below providing you information on the name, address, website, and crucial information on each stop. You won’t be able to get to all of these in a day but this can help you plan out a trip and make the most of your time.

Western North Carolina Cheese Trail by Location

Western North Carolina Cheese Makers Trail
Map is courtesy Western North Carolina Cheese Trail

 

1. Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery                                                                                                                            327 Flat Rock Road
Fairview, NC 28711

Using locally produced raw cow milk, BRMC produces a range of cave aged cheeses including blue, asiago, cheddar, pepper jack, and more. Victor, the owner, is known not just for his cheese making skill but also his glassblowing abilities. You can find Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery cheeses at local tailgate markets and in many restaurants.

 

English Farmstead Cheese Guide to the Western North Carolina Cheese Makers Trail
English Farmstead Cheese

2. English Farmstead                                                                           19456 US 221 North                                                                         Marion, NC 28752

From our family cows to your table. Their Facebook page seems the best way to get information.  I recommend calling or emailing for additional information, including hours. It looks like tours may be available but I wasn’t able to find a lot of detail.

 

 

 

Candy You Ate As A Kid

 

3. Heritage Homestead Dairy                                                                                                                               960 Roy Goodman Road                                                                                                                                   Crumpler, North Carolina 28617

Since 1994 owners Carol and Lon Coulter have been raising several varieties of goats in order to produce their delicious cheeses that are found at local markets and retail establishments. Goats are milked eight months out of the year and bred in March and April, allowing for sustainable production. According to their website products range from chevre to feta to pimento. Other products include fudge , caramels, and pestos. Use their contact form to arrange for direct purchase.

4. Looking Glass Creamery                                                                                                                                    115 Harmon Dairy Lane                                                                                                                                     Columbus, North Carolina 28722

Their mission, “We want to operate a diverse farm and share it with our guests to provide experience, enjoyment and education about farming and food production. We will make great cheese, preserves and cider within a full circle system that works in harmony with the land, people, and animals. Our farm will be financially sound, environmentally responsible, and agriculturally thriving.”

Read a brief history of their production on their website. Follow them on their Facebook page for all the latest.


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Round Mountain Creamery in Black Mountain, NC.
Round Mountain Creamery Store A Guide to the Western North Carolina Cheese Makers Trail

5. Round Mountain Creamery                                                                 2203 Old Fort Road                                                                           Black Mountain, North Carolina 28711

Round Mountain Creamery began in 2002 by Linda Seligman and five goats. Today it is a thriving 28 acre goat dairy and farmstead. It was named the first Grade A certified goat dairy in North Carolina. The farm produces nine varieties of soft cheese in sweet, savory, and spicy combinations. Their cheeses are available at numerous local markets and at their own farm store. Tours of the farm are available and must be booked in advance. One hour walking tours cost $15 per person.  See the website for details on booking this unique experience.

 

6. Spinning Spider Creamery                                                                                                                             4717 East Fork Road                                                                                                                                             Marshall, North Carolina 28753

Begun in 1999 as a goat dairy in response to cow milk allergies, Spinning Spider Creamery is a family farm with roots in 4-H and homeschooling their three sons.  The family mission is to maintain a lifestyle that incorporates the cycles of the seasons with their love of our animals, their craft of cheese making and their family unity.  The entire family participates in the operation of the creamery.  The end result is a variety of handcrafted artisan cheeses brought to their fullest complexity of flavors through care and attention to detail in an old world style.

Their cheeses are available at farmers markets, local specialty stores and limited hours by appointment at the farm.  At this time they offer no tours and limit on farm sales to appointment only. You may also keep up with them on their Facebook page.

7. Yellow Branch Cheese and Pottery

Appears to be closed. Website is deactivated and social media have not been updated.

8. Blue Goat Dairy

Vail, NC 28168

They treat their goats with homeopathic remedies and herbs to keep them healthy. The goats are fed with all-natural local hay that is not treated with sprays or other harmful chemicals. After the milk comes from the goats, they pasteurize it and make it into all the different flavors immediately. The sooner the milk is used, the fresher the cheese is. Their goat cheese is so smooth and creamy that even folks who say “I don’t like goat cheese” are delighted by the tastiness!

You may follow them on their Facebook page.

Chevoo on Crackers with Truffle SlicesChoose CHEVOO for all your mail order gourmet goat cheese product. Click the link or the photo to learn more about their products and to place your order.  All CHEVOO Marinated Goat Cheeses start with the highest quality goat cheese, hand-blended with herbs, spices, chilis, honey, or pollens and then pair them with an Extra Virgin Olive Oil blend that has been infused for 8 weeks with crushed botanicals. CHEVOO was founded in 2015 by Aussie expats Gerard & Susan Tuck. When they moved to the US they were inspired to create a new and unique range of Marinated Goat Cheeses that American foodies would love.

Recommended Farm Stops Along the Cheese Trail

9. Addison Farms Vineyard

10. French Broad Creamery

11. Hickory Nut Gap Farm

12. Linville Falls Winery

13. Marked Tree Vineyard

14. FernCrest Winery

15. Plēb Urban Winery

16. Ripshin Goat Dairy

 

Woman running in Orthofeet Sneakers Shoes designed for pain free walks.

To Learn More or Become a Member of the WNC Cheese Trail

Are you super interested in the Western North Carolina Cheese Trail? If so, they invite you to become a member at one of the various levels, from cheese fan to principal member (this is the place for you if you are WNC cheese maker).

I hope you have enjoyed A Guide to the Western North Carolina Cheese Makers Trail. You can also follow the Western North Carolina Cheese Trail on Social Media: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, or TWITTER.

  This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

Culture

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