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Friday, April 20, 2018

Learn About the Civil War at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum

Gettysburg National Military Park Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania
The Gettysburg National Military Park Museum is located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It's the best museum to visit if you want to learn about the Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg. Within the museum you'll find the Museum, the Cyclorama, the Film (narrated by Morgan Freeman) and if you want to visit the Eisenhower National Historic Site, you'll have to buy your tickets there and take the shuttle over to the site.

The museum can get quite busy during the summer tourist season or during special events. There are several large parking lots on their property that you can park in for free. If you're looking for handicapped spaces, you'll find them in the main lot, pretty close to the entrance of the museum. Just make sure you display their plaque or sticker when you utilize those particular parking spaces. 
President Abe Lincoln at Gettysburg Military Museum

Near the front entrance you'll find the famous President Abe Lincoln statue. That statue draws a crowd and it's a great place to take some photographs and selfies! During special events, you'll find Civil War exhibits and re-enactors in this area too (during the summer season). 

Once you enter the museum building you'll find the museum gift shop to your right. You'll want to walk through the lobby until you reach the ticket counter on your right. This is where you'll buy your tickets for the attractions you wish to see. You can visit just one attraction or buy combo tickets to see all of the attractions that they have to offer. Combo tickets do save you some money.
Gettysburg National Military Park Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania

Gettysburg National Military Park Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania

The museum is housed on the bottom floor and you'll enter through the marked doors. Once inside, follow the guided path. Your very first stop will be in a mini movie theater where you can sit down and watch the approximately 8 minute film. I highly recommend that you take the time out to watch it, especially if this is your first visit. 

In my honest opinion, you'll want to take your time walking through the museum. There are a lot of things to see, read and do. The exhibits will start off with what was going on right before the Civil War started, things that occurred at the beginning of the war and leading up to the Battle of Gettysburg and the days following it. 
Gettysburg National Military Park Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania

Gettysburg National Military Park Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania

You'll learn about the Union and Confederate Army, their generals, leaders and soldiers. You'll learn about President Abraham Lincoln, his election and the important part that he played during the Civil War. The museum gives you a great overall view of the Battle for Gettysburg and I enjoyed learning about the people who lived there during the time and the role that they played during the war too.

From start to finish, I think you should allow a minimum of 75 minutes to just go through the museum. You'll want to add more time to your schedule if you plan on visiting the other on-site attractions. You can take photographs in the museum, but you have to turn your camera flash off, so that you don't disturb the other visitors. (Yes, that's their policy). 
Gettysburg National Military Park Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania

Gettysburg National Military Park Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania

After your tour you can head to the Museum Gift Shop where you'll find some very cool souvenirs, collectibles and gift items. We saw all kinds of nice t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, collectible coins, jewelry, books, toys of the kids, home decor and more. Most of the items in their shop are reasonably priced and others...well, it's a gift shop! 

If you're hungry, they do have an on-site restaurant where you can go in, sit down and enjoy some great tasting food and beverages. We ate there last time during our visit and I have to admit, our food was really good! It sits off to the side back by the ticket counter area, so it's in a quiet area of the building. 
Gettysburg National Military Park Museum in Gettysburg Pennsylvania

We've been to the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum several times in the past few years and every time that we visit...we learn something new or see something that we didn't see before. This museum is definitely are favorite one in Gettysburg and should be at the top of your list when visiting the area. 

You can learn more about Gettysburg and the surrounding area by visiting the Pennsylvania section right here on our travel blog or by visiting our Gettysburg Pennsylvania board over on Pinterest.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Beach Life Outdoor Wall Mural in Wildwood

Beach Life Outdoor Wall Mural in Wildwood New Jersey
We do a lot of traveling and every time we travel we are on the lookout for new street art and outdoor wall murals. We're huge fans of beach theme'd wall murals and some of our favorite artists include David Dunleavy, Beilings (Father & Son team), Wyland and others.

A few months ago we were down in North Wildwood, New Jersey and spotted this beauty that was hand painted on the backside of the Alante Motel in Wildwood. If you want to see it, you'll have to walk behind the hotel and you'll find it covering the back wall. It was painted by MG Signs. I tried to find information online about them, but came up empty-handed.
Beach Life Outdoor Wall Mural in Wildwood New Jersey

The wall mural depicts two children (a girl and a boy) playing on the sandy beach. You'll see the mighty Atlantic Ocean, sand dunes with sea grass, seagulls flying overhead, a beautifully-build sandcastle, sand bucket, etc. depicted in the scene. I think it must have been painted within the past few years because the colors are still vivid and not faded (just-yet) from the intense sunlight that the Jersey Shore seems to get.

I absolutely LOVE this outdoor wall mural! It reminds me of me and my brother. We spent a LOT of our childhood summers down at the Jersey Shore playing in the sand and splashing around in the Atlantic Ocean. When I first saw the wall mural, that's exactly the memories that came flooding back into my mind. It's beautiful!
Alante Motel in North Wildwood New Jersey

If you're visiting North Wildwood, Wildwood or Wildwood Crest in New Jersey and you enjoy looking at outdoor wall murals and street art, make sure you check out the Alante Motel in North Wildwood to see this AMAZING mural painted on the back of their building. It's worth a look-see!

Note: You can double-click on each image in this feature to have it open up in a new browsing window and in an enlarged size. This will allow you to see the wall mural up-close and in an enlarged size, while keeping our site mobile-reader friendly. Thanks!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Massachusetts Official State Facts + Travel Tips

Massachusetts Official State Facts + Travel Tips
Massachusetts is a beautiful state located in the New England region of the United States. While it's smaller in size (compared to a lot of other states), it's big on history and hospitality. The capital city is Boston and it's the most populous city in the state and in the entire New England region.

Official Massachusetts State Facts:

Nickname: The Bay State
Capital: Boston
Borders: Atlantic Ocean to the east, Connecticut & Rhode Island to the south, Vermont & New Hampshire to the north and New York to the west.
State Bird: Black-Capped Chickadee
State Dog: Boston Terrior
State Cat: Tabby
State Horse: Morgan Horse
State Shell: New England Neptune
State Marine Mammal: Right Whale
State Fish: Cod
State Insect: Ladybug
State Tree: American Elm
State Flower: Mayflower
State Gemstone: Rhodonite
State Beverage: Cranberry Juice
Major Industries: Manufacturing, Tourism, Higher Education, Marine Fishing & Trade
Massachusetts Official State Facts + Travel Tips

Major Tourist Attractions and Landmarks:

Cape Cod Bay
Martha's Vineyard
Museum of Fine Arts - Boston
Institute of Contemporary Arts - Boston
Minute Man National Historical Park
The Boston Marathon
Old Sturbridge Village
Pilmoth Plantation
New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park
Holyoke Heritage State Park
Paul Revere House
Fenway Park Massachusetts

As a traveler, we've visited the city of Boston (twice) for mostly business. We did get to explore a little bit each time we were there. The city is beautiful and we loved it's historical charm. We plan on visiting the Boston again (for pleasure) and will be exploring the city more in-depth.

About 20 years ago I had the pleasure of visiting Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket for several days with my family. If you love the Atlantic Coast, you're absolutely going to love these two destinations. Each of them have their own vibe and the beach scene is absolutely gorgeous! My favorite coastal areas in New England for sure!

On our travel bucket list is a Massachusetts 2-week vacation. We plan on visiting 7 areas within the state and will be blogging our entire experience to share with our readers here on our travel blog. Stay tuned for that!