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Things to Do in North America

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Gettysburg National Military Park
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6 Tours and Activities
More than 50,000 soldiers died in the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, the bloodiest battle ever fought on American soil. Today, the Gettysburg National Military Park is a National Park Service–run memorial to the lives lost during those three fateful days of the American Civil War. The Gettysburg battlefield draws Civil War buffs and those who come to pay their respects and learn about this landmark event in American history.
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Historic Route 66
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One of the most famous symbols of the American west, Route 66's significance has been commemorated in songs, movies, and various other aspects of popular culture. Built in 1926, the 2,448 mile (3,940 km) strip of road was one of the first highways built in the United States. It spanned 8 states, running from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California, passing through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona along the way.

Route 66 holds special meaning to the many migrants who traveled along its path toward the west, particularly during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. In 1985, the route was removed from the United States Highway System as it was considered to be no longer be relevant. Now known as Historic Route 66, the highway still evokes the same sense of wonder and excitement that comes from journeying west to a land of possibilities.

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Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge
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There are very few places in the world where you can spend quality time watching manatees, one of the most unusual marine mammals. With their large fin-like tails, they are though to be the inspiration for mythological mermaids. And Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge along Florida’s Gulf Coast is arguably the best spot in the world to see them. This 46-acre refuge was created to protect the manatees that congregate here in large numbers during the winter months. The unique location is home to a network of underground springs that coalesce into the headwaters of the Crystal River. A collection of nine islands offers vital resting areas for these slow moving animals, which can get hurt or stressed by motorboats.

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More Things to Do in North America

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

13 Tours and Activities

With its rolling hills, roaming wildlife, and natural beauty, Custer State Park is one of the most scenic areas of South Dakota. Its clear streams, tall granite mountains, and open plains present much to see. Herds of bison, elk, antelope, bighorn sheep, and even wild turkey are frequently seen from one of the park’s walking trails or scenic drives. The Needles Highway, Wildlife Loop Road, and Iron Mountain Road are some of the most beautiful drives in the park. Five beautiful lakes and various streams provide opportunities to go fishing, kayaking, and swimming as well. After gold was discovered in the Black Hills by Lieutenant Colonel George Custer, the area quickly developed. Today it is known more for its wide open spaces and events such as the annual buffalo roundup. There is more than 71,000 acres of wild land to explore, with tunnels, forest, bridges, and viewpoints to stop at throughout.

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Aquarium of the Pacific

Aquarium of the Pacific

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Sitting on Rainbow Harbor you’ll find one of Long Beach’s top attractions: Aquarium of the Pacific. Home to more than 11,000 aquatic animals and approximately 500 species, there is much to see throughout their 32 exhibits. In fact, many people arrive at opening time and don’t leave until closing. Get up close to playful seals and sea lions, visit a lagoon with more than 150 sharks, see ultraviolet sea animals against a black light, take in otherworldly jellyfish of all shapes and sizes and roam the numerous indoor and outdoor exhibits.

Many of the exhibits are also interactive, allowing you to pet fish, manta rays and even small sharks; feed birds in the Lorikeet Forest; and partake in tropical reef feedings. Check the schedule when you arrive to see what shows and lectures are going on for the day. If you’re traveling as a family, stop at the desk to pick up special worksheets and scavenger hunt-like tasks for kids to fill out while exploring the museum.

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Old Town Scottsdale

Old Town Scottsdale

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The city of Scottsdale sits adjacent to Phoenix, attracting visitors by the bus-load to Scottsdale Old Town. This older section of town is also its main cultural hub, thronged with dining, drinking, shopping and nightlife options.

Native American crafts, jewelry and artworks are sold in this downtown arts district, and galleries and outdoor sculptures add to the cultural feel. It’s also where you’ll find museums like Scottsdale’s Museum of Contemporary Art and the city’s historical museum.

Walking tours highlight the old town’s Old West character, with hitching posts from the days when horses were ridden through town and quaint stores selling Western gear.

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Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park

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Encompassing 1,047 square miles (2,711 square kilometers), the Kenai Fjords National Park is named after the many glacial-carved fjords, or glacial valleys that sit below sea level. These fjords run down the mountains and into the iconic Harding Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the United States with 40 glaciers flowing into it.

There are many ways to experience the park’s beauty, like taking an aerial tour, kayaking on the fjords, hiking to the top of the Harding Icefield Trail or exploring the trails around Exit Glacier. You can also fish for salmon and Dolly Varden within the park’s backcountry. For those interested in wildlife spotting, the parks icy waters and dense woodland are home to a number of creatures like mountain goats, black bears, bald eagles, Steller sea lions, puffins, Dall's porpoises, and humpback and orca whales.

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Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve

Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve

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Bald eagles have a safe home at the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. Created in 1982, the huge park protects the world’s largest collection of bald eagles and their habitat.

Natural salmon runs are also protected in the preserve, where the Chilkat, Kleheni, and Tsirku Rivers meet. For the best views of the eagles, head to the Haines Highway by the river flats surrounding the Chilkat River. To ensure the eagles aren’t spooked by your presence, stay off the river flats themselves and keep to the area near the highway.

From October to February, the eagles are attracted to the wetlands by the spawning salmon. During these months around 3,000 bald eagles have been known to stay at the preserve; the number of year-round inhabitants is between 200 and 400.

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Cave of the Winds

Cave of the Winds

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For those who want to experience Niagara Falls up close, a tour of Cave of the Winds is a must. In fact, the excursion takes you as close to the falls as you can possibly get. Sporting a souvenir poncho, you’ll descend 175 feet (53 meters) via elevator into Niagara Gorge, where you’ll follow the Niagara River to the Hurricane Deck. Here you’ll learn where the platform gets its name, as Bridal Veil Falls creates conditions similar to a tropical storm, with winds reaching up to 68 mph (109 kph). Feel the torrents of water from the cascading falls wash over you from only 20 feet (6 meters) away as you truly experience the power of Niagara Falls. Many people even liken the experience to being inside of a hurricane. It’s safe to say you will get wet when experiencing the Cave of the Winds.
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The Breakers

The Breakers

9 Tours and Activities

You’ll find it hard not to be impressed at the opulence of The Breakers, the crown jewel of the Newport cottages. The 70-room four-story mansion was the summer estate of Cornelius Vanderbilt II, the grandson of railroad tycoon Commodore Vanderbilt. The grand structure, built in 1895, was designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt, who modeled it after 16th-century Italian Renaissance palaces.

Vanderbilt spared no expense in designing this lavish Guilded Age temple, installing a high entrance gate that weighs over 7 tons, using gold leaf and rare marble, and bringing in painters from Europe to create mural-size baroque paintings. Inside, all the furnishings on view are original. Outside, open-air terraces give way to breathtaking ocean views.

The Preservation Society of Newport County purchased the house in 1972, and today it is a National Historic Landmark.

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Denali National Park and Preserve

Denali National Park and Preserve

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At more than 6 million acres (2.5 million hectares), Denali National Park is a breathtaking wilderness area, which includes North America’s highest mountain. A single road curves 92 miles (148 kilometers) through the heart of the park, leading to off-trail hiking opportunities, abundant wildlife, and stunning tundra panoramas.

Wildlife in Denali National Park, including mammals such as marmot and moose, is easy to spot. Caribou, wolves, and brown bears are crowd favorites. The park is also well known for its bird population, especially during late spring and summer. Birdwatchers may find waxwings, Arctic Warblers, and the majestic tundra swan. Predatory birds include a variety of hawks, owls, and the striking golden eagle. Ten species of fish, including trout, salmon, and arctic grayling share the waters of the park.

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Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam

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Hoover Dam is one of the largest public works projects in the USA - it's been called the 'Greatest Dam Ever Built.' Hoover Dam is a National Historic Landmark and stands as a testament to the thousands of men and women (and their families) who came to a harsh, barren land and, in less than five years, built a structure that changed the future of the west. The dam also created Lake Mead, named for the man who oversaw the project. From Las Vegas Hoover Dam is a convenient day trip.
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Stone Island (Isla de la Piedra)

Stone Island (Isla de la Piedra)

2 Tours and Activities
This offshore island is a popular excursion stop for cruise ship passengers docking in Mazatlan, but most of the visitors are locals on weekends and it’s not very crowded on non-cruise weekdays. The main reason to visit is to lie on the beach, swim, and eat grilled seafood at a thatched-roof restaurant, but you can also explore the island by horseback or on walking trails. The beach here is a good spot for seashell collecting.
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Molokini Crater

Molokini Crater

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Creating a perfect crescent shape in the sea, the sunken Molokini Crater is a snorkeling wonderland just offshore from Maui. Dubbed among the world’s top 10 diving locations, Molokini is prized by underwater enthusiasts for its protected reef, crystal-clear visibility and schools of tropical fish. The crater is also a favorite with birdwatchers, who come here to spot seabirds like petrels and shearwaters. Come here by organized tour for a day of swimming and diving, and terrific views across the water back to Maui.

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Carlsbad Village

Carlsbad Village

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Carlsbad Village is the downtown area at the heart — and waterfront — of Carlsbad, a fun-loving Southern California beach town. Visitors to Carlsbad spend most of their time in the village, as it’s where most of the shops, restaurants and hotels are found, including the famous Carlsbad Inn — a Bavarian looking hotel on the corner of Carlsbad Village Drive and Ocean Street. A visit the Carlsbad Mineral Water Spa is a great way to relax with a massage or spa treatment using the local alkaline artisan mineral water. To mingle and pick up fresh local fruits, stop in at the Carlsbad Farmer’s Market, which happens every Wednesday and Saturday afternoon. And of course the beaches and boardwalk that run along Carlsbad Village are the main draw. Tamarack Beach is a great, centrally located stretch that’s ideal for bike riding, surfing or sunbathing.

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Tulum

Tulum

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546 Tours and Activities
One of the best preserved Mayan sites, Tulum is a must-see attraction on the coast of the Yucatan. Tulum, the Walled City, is mounted high on the edge of a cliff, towering above the Caribbean Sea and a beautiful white sandy beach. It was only inhabited by the nobles, high priests and esteemed citizens, whereas the lower classes lived in simple wood and thatch huts beyond. The ruins here are truly spectacular, especially Tulum's main temple, dedicated to the Diving God.
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The Ringling

The Ringling

3 Tours and Activities
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