15 Ways to See Multiple National Parks In Just 3 Days

15 Ways to See Multiple National Parks In Just 3 Days

Combining visits to well-known national parks with some lesser-known treasures, the National Park Foundation’s new “Road Trippin'” guide inspires people to find your park during a long weekend getaway with 15 different national park itineraries.

“Our guide details how it’s possible to enjoy a variety of national park experiences in just three days,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation. “Through easy to follow, diverse itineraries, we hope to motivate more people to plan a national park trip of their own.”

Featuring natural, cultural, and historical parks, and a mix of interests and activity levels, the guide’s suggestions include:

  • Traveling through time in Idaho with visits to Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, Minidoka National Historic Site, Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve, and City of Rocks National Reserve
  • Re-tracing history from Tennessee to Mississippi with visits to Natchez Trace Parkway, Shiloh National Military Park, Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site, and Tupelo National Battlefield
  • Discovering spectacular stories of South Dakota with visits to Wind Cave National Park, Badlands National Park, and Minuteman Missile National Historic Site
  • Connecting with the prairie, presidential moments, and more near Kansas City with visits to Fort Scott National Historic Site, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, and Harry S. Truman National Historic Site
  • Exploring wilderness and history near New York City with visits to Fire Island National Seashore, Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, and Weir Farm National Historic Site

“Road Trippin'” is the tenth special edition in the National Park Foundation’s popular and FREE Owner’s Guide series. When visitors download their copy of the guide, they’ll also have access to other national park guides highlighting great places to stay, romantic destinations, adventures for kids of all ages, and more.

Visit www.nationalparks.org/roadtrippin to download a FREE copy of “Road Trippin'” today.

The Best Amusement Parks for Families in 2017

The Best Amusement Parks for Families in 2017

Family Vacation Critic, TripAdvisor’s family travel site, has just named the Best Amusement Parks for Families in 2017 – naming the best parks in the U.S., and sharing the year’s newest attractions and highlights for every age group.

“Amusement parks are one of the most quintessential summertime activities for families,” explains Lissa Poirot, editor-in-chief of Family Vacation Critic. “But for those traveling with family members of various ages – including kids-at-heart – finding a park that caters to thrill-seekers and the younger set isn’t always so easy. This list includes parks that successfully cater to both, and those that also have exciting new features for the 2017 season.”

The list of the best amusement parks for families in 2017 include:

  • Cedar Point (Sandusky, OH)
    What’s New: Cedar Point Shores, an 18-acre waterpark located along Lake Erie with 17 water attractions for all ages, VIP cabanas, restaurants, shopping and live entertainment.
  • Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, TN)
    What’s New: Drop Line, a 230-foot tall drop tower, with a spinning gondola that offers riders a breathtaking view of the Great Smoky Mountains. Also joining the park in 2017 is Whistle Punk Chaser, a junior coaster positioned as a great first-coaster for younger park visitors.
  • Hersheypark (Hershey, PA)
    What’s New: Hershey Triple Tower offers three drop towers for park guests to choose from – Hershey’s Tower, the tallest at 189-feet high; Reese’s Tower, is the second tallest at 131-feet high; and Hershey’s Kisses Tower standing at 80-feet tall.
  • Kings Island (Mason, OH)
    What’s New: Mystic Timbers, a 3,265-foot long wooden coaster with a 48″ height requirement – making it an ideal coaster for riders of various ages.
  • Silver Dollar City (Branson, MO)
    What’s New: New Silver Dollar Food Days run from July 31 – August 20, highlighting favorite festival food like funnel cakes, kettle corn and milkshakes, and taking them to new levels.
  • Universal’s Islands of Adventure (Orlando, FL)
    What’s New: For guests visiting the park, plan a trip to Universal Orlando Resort’s newest water theme park, Volcano Bay – a 25-acre park featuring 18 unique attractions including a wave pool, winding river, raft rides, body slides and more.
  • Universal Studios (Hollywood, CA and Orlando, FL)
    What’s New: Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon brings guests a simulated race through New York City – a history of The Tonight Show, Hashtag the Panda and the Ragtime Gals barbershop quartet also join in the fun.
  • Six Flags (Nationwide)
    What’s New: Six Flags is unveiling new rides at each of its parks across North America, including Warner Brothers and DC Comics-branded rides and attractions.

About Family Vacation Critic
Family Vacation Critic® is a comprehensive online travel resource for families that offers reviews of family hotels, resort and destinations. The site features vacation ideas, family travel tips and an online forum for family travelers. Family Vacation Critic is published by The Independent Traveler, Inc., a subsidiary of TripAdvisor, Inc.

Gaylord Opryland Resort presents ‘Alice in Wonderland’ summer events

Gaylord Opryland Resort presents ‘Alice in Wonderland’ summer events

Gaylord Opryland Resort, recently named best resort in the South by the readers of Southern Living, will transform its nine acres of indoor gardens into a kaleidoscope of colors this summer with experiences inspired by Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking-Glass.”

From Memorial Day weekend through September 10, the resort’s annual SummerFest celebration, supported by Pepsi®, invites guests to step into the curious wonderland Alice encounters after falling through an enchanted rabbit hole.

Guests can test their skills in the “Follow the White Rabbit” Scavenger Hunt through the resort, or board the Delta Riverboats for some nonsensical magic on Hatter’s Floating Tea Party Cruise along a ¼-mile-long indoor river.

As visitors wander into Wonderland, they will be lured into Carroll’s original storybook with the Queen of Arts Tour, featuring works by local artists. Adding to the magic inside, visitors will find strolling entertainers including Alice herself and other characters from the story.


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Guided hotel and garden tours let guests further explore the resort’s indoor gardens, which are decked out with giant mushrooms, caterpillars, teacups and whimsical décor. Adults 21 and up can add a wine flight, starting with whites and moving to reds, along the tour.

The “Eat Me, Drink Me” Junior Chefs Camp lets aspiring culinarians learn from the hotel’s award-winning chefs and even get their own kid-sized chef hat and apron to take home.

The 2,888-room resort’s 20 restaurants and lounges will feature food and drink inspired by the popular novels, from merry un-birthday cupcakes to teapot cocktails and Rabbit Hole whiskey flights.

Additional activities include free nightly fountain shows, family-friendly films every night and the Aquafina® Splash Party—a poolside experience with music, food, drinks and lawn games. Guests can also make their very own furry friend at the resort’s Build-A-Bear Workshop® experience.

At Relâche Spa, resort guests can have their fingers and “toeses” painted red with the Queen of Hearts Roses Red Manicure/Pedicure and other Alice-inspired treatments. Kids can get wild and wacky with Mad Hatter Hair Color (washable, of course!) and Cheshire Cat face painting.

A trip to Music City wouldn’t be complete without great music. Live stage music takes place not only in the resort but at The Opry Backstage Grill next door and the Wildhorse Saloon in downtown Nashville.

Steps from Gaylord Opryland, guests can take in the wonder of country music’s most famous show—the Grand Ole Opry, as well as the General Jackson Showboat, one of the largest showboats in the U.S., and Opry Mills—Tennessee’s largest shopping destination. Plus, resort guests receive exclusive discounts at the city’s hottest new attraction—Madame Tussauds Nashville.


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3.2 Trillion Miles Driven On U.S. Roads In 2016

3.2 Trillion Miles Driven On U.S. Roads In 2016

New estimates released by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) show that U.S. driving topped 3.2 trillion miles last year. It is the fifth straight year of increased mileage on public roads throughout the nation, and underscores the demands facing America’s roads and bridges, and reaffirms calls for greater investment in surface transportation infrastructure.

The new data, published in FHWA’s latest “Traffic Volume Trends” report – a monthly estimate of U.S. road travel – show that more than 263.6 billion miles were driven in December 2016 alone, which is a .5 percent increase over the previous December.

The December 2016 report also includes seasonally-adjusted data, which is conducted by USDOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics as a way to even out seasonal variation in travel and enable vehicle miles travelled (VMT) comparisons with any other month in any year. The seasonally-adjusted VMT for December 2016 were 269.3 billion miles. Compared with seasonally adjusted November 2016 data, December 2016 VMT fell slightly by .6 percent but rose 0.6 percent from December 2015. The estimates include passenger vehicle, bus and truck travel.

At 2.9 percent, traffic in the West – a 13-state region stretching from California to Montana, and including Hawaii and Alaska – led the nation with the largest percentage increase in unadjusted VMT, and continued an uninterrupted series of monthly increases that began in October 2013. Mileage fell slightly in the Northeast and North Central states.

At 33.9 billion VMT, California accounted for more miles driven in December 2016 than the combined 33.8 billion miles of 22 states – Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming – and Washington, D.C.

At 5.8 percent, Louisiana led the nation with the largest unadjusted single-state traffic percent increase compared to the same month a year earlier, followed by Utah at 5.2 percent and Nevada at 5.1 percent. At 6.2 percent, for the tenth month in a row, North Dakota led the nation with the largest unadjusted traffic decrease for the month.

I-75 Construction Activity in Tennessee This Week

I-75 Construction Activity in Tennessee This Week

The Tennessee Department of Transportation reports the following construction activities on Interstate 75 this week:

Bradley County: I-75 grading, drainage, construction of retaining walls and paving at Exit 25 (State Route 60) interchange in Cleveland, including the installation of traffic signals: Work on this project continues. Estimated project completion is spring 2016.

Bradley County: U.S. 74 (SR-311, APD-40) construction of a new interchange between I-75 (Exit 20) and U.S. 11/64 (SR-2) at Stone Lake Extension in Cleveland: Work on this project continues. Traffic has been shifted onto the right shoulder on APD-40. The speed limit on SR-311 in the construction zone has been lowered to 45 MPH. Traffic needs to be aware of trucks entering and exiting on the southbound lanes of APD?40. Flaggers will assist with traffic control as needed. Estimated project completion date is October 2016.


On the road? Why not take us with you. Our Websites are Mobile-Friendly! Visit our growing family of exit guides:  I-4 Exit GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit GuideI-75 Exit Guide, and I-95 Exit Guide. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit along the way!