Elan has lived in Boston all his life. He loves his city, and it shows in the email he sent to me recently. Elan listed all of his favorite must-see places that you don’t want to miss if you ever find yourself in Boston.
MIT Museum – They have collections of old computers, exhibitions featuring robots, and much more.
Fenway Park – Fenway Park is the home of the Boston Red Sox. The park itself offers tours on a regular basis. Game tickets are pricey, but well worth the cost to be there in person for a game.
Freedom Trail – The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile red-brick walking trail that leads you to 16 nationally significant historic sites, every one an authentic American treasure. The Freedom Trail today is a unique collection of museums, churches, meeting houses, burying grounds, parks, a ship, and historic markers that tell the story of the American Revolution and beyond.
New England Aquarium – They have all sorts of great shows, and exhibits. They also have an iMAX Theater. You can also go whale watching.
Faneuil Hall Marketplace – This is the seat of American history and the site of one of America’s most famous shopping and dining experiences. For over 250 years, the marketplace has played an integral role in the life of Boston’s residents. So if you are ready to see, taste, and touch a true Boston experience, visit the historic and exciting Faneuil Hall Marketplace.
Museum of Science – The museum has hundreds of unique and fun exhibits. They also feature an electric light show, which is awesome.
Boston Apple Store – Even if you don’t own a single Apple product, this particular store is a must-see. The tall glass building is much like the one found in New York City, and there are a ton of Apple products on hand for you to try out and play with.
Duck Tour – This awesome tour takes you all around historic Boston, and ends in the river at the Boston Harbor. The ConDUCKtor will give you interesting and fun facts about all the sights along the way. Often, these are things that you’ll never read in any history book. It’s a lot of fun, and educational as well.
Sam Adams Brewery – Taking a tour of the Brewery is a lot of fun, and you’ll learn everything there is to know about brewing Sam Adams beer. At the end, there is a tasting room where you can sample many of their beers for free. People under 21 are welcome on the tour, but will not receive free beer!
Georges Island – Seven miles from downtown Boston, Georges Island contains a large dock, picnic grounds, open fields, paved walk ways, a parade ground and a gravel beach. Guided tours of historic Fort Warren are offered. Georges also has a snack bar.
Boston definitely sounds like a place where one can find any number of fun and educational things to see and do! What about where you are from? What are the best places to visit?
When I flew to Paris last week for the LeWeb Conference, I had a brief layover at the airport in Amsterdam. Sadly, I wasn’t there long enough to be able to actually leave the airport. If I had been, I might have been able to check some of these places out. Dylan spent most of his life living there, and sent the following list of “must see” places to share with all of us. Hopefully, I’ll get to head over there again one day.
Palace Huis Ten Bosch – This is the official residence of Queen Beatrix. The park around the palace is very peaceful… but you are able to see very little of the palace because it’s behind walls and trees.
Anne Frank’s House – This is the most popular tourist attraction in Amsterdam. When you approach the house from Prisengracht, you will wonder where the Anne Frank House is located – the photographs and images that most of us associate with the Anne Frank Huis are of the back of the house. There is, of course, a lot of history here, as well as nostaligic feelings. Bring tissues with you.
Madurodam in Rotterdam – The number one tourist attraction in Rotterdam… a 5-acre miniature city, meticulously crafted on a scale of 1/25. Everything works… trains move, boats float, windmills turn, etc. A very popular and interesting attraction.
The Binnenhof – The Binnenhof in the Hague is a complex of buildings (palaces)… the inner court is where government business is conducted. The Ridderzaal, or Knight’s Hall, is the 700-year-old building dominating the complex.
Maastricht’s Old Town – This is a great place to visit in this city. Visit the Bonnefanten Museum for painting by the Dutch Masters, and the St. Pietersberg Caves take a sweater that underlay the city.
Canal Cruise – In Amsterdam, you should take a tour boat ride through the canals first. Take a city map with you and try to follow along on it as you go, and mark the places you pass that you would like to go back to and see.
Madame Tussauds – You can meet famous Dutch and foreign personalities. As well as the renowned wax figures of famous people, you can also see technical high points in the form of moving figures at Madame Tussauds. There are 130 life-like wax figures on display at Madame Tussauds. You can have your photo taken with famous foreign personalities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Oprah Winfrey en Marilyn Monroe.
These all sound like very cool places to visit, and the pictures I found are beautiful! Have any of you out there ever been to the Netherlands? What did you enjoy the most?
When I asked all of you to send in your list of places to visit in your area, several of you responded with lists for New York City. As I read through them, I noticed what I call the “old standbys”. We already know we should try to check out the Statue of Liberty and Times Square if we get to NYC. However, I also noticed that most of you listed a couple of “out of the way” places… things that most of us would have never thought to see and do. I compiled the following list of ideas from several different NYC submissions. Hopefully, you’ll get a chance to visit some of these places if you ever find yourself in New York. As for me… I want to eat on Mars!!
Ellis Island Immigration Museum – The Ellis Island Immigration Museum offers visitors a fascinating look into the immigrant experience. Interactive exhibits, walking tours and movies reveal the hardships and challenges faced by immigrants passing through Ellis Island.
American Museum of Natural History – Since opening to the public in 1869, the American Museum of Natural History has evolved and grown. In addition to the Rose Center planetarium and regular exhibits, the American Museum of Natural History hosts a revolving series of new exhibits, so there is always something new to see.
Madam Tussauds Wax Museum – The wax figures are all of famous actors, actresses, TV show hosts, and other celebrities. They actually look life like, so the art work done is quite impressive.
Mars 2112 Restaurant – This is a restaurant with a unique atmosphere. When you walk inside the door, you are still on the planet Earth. You are then told to get inside a simulation ride that brings you to Mars. While you are on Mars (the actual restaurant), you will have an experience unlike any other, including aliens that come and hang out at your table!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art – This is one of top art museums of the world. Its collections include more than two million works of art spanning 5,000 years of world culture, from prehistory to the present and from every part of the globe. The Museum’s two-million-square-foot building has vast holdings that represent a series of collections, each of which ranks in its category among the finest in the world.
Grand Central Terminal – Grand Central Station is obviously very well known – but not well understood. It is the largest train terminal in the world (by number of tracks), and one of the most ornate as well. The main concourse with its ceiling painting of the cosmos is very amazing to look at. There are shops and restaurants located throughout the terminal, as well.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum – Named the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in honor of its founder, is known as much for its building design as it is for its content. Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece of modern architecture is home to the world-renowned Guggenheim collection of modern and contemporary art.
The Chrysler Building – This building is itself a sight to behold. At the time it was built, it was the largest building in the United States, and the architecture is beautiful. Inside, you’ll see much of the decor based off of automobile parts, which is unique and fun to take a look at.
St Patrick’s Cathedral – The Cathedral is the largest gothic-style Catholic Cathedral in the United States and has been recognized throughout its history as a pre-eminent center of Catholic life in this country. Over five and a half million visitors each year come to visit and pray. The Cathedral has come to represent for so many a place of peace and tranquility. It is an absolutely beautiful place.
NY Federal Reserve and Gold Vault – This is likely one of the coolest spots in New York City. You can take a one-hour tour through the building and its gold vault. Be prepared to show up a half an hour early to get yourself through security screening, though.
Thanks so much to everyone who submitted a list for New York City! If you wish to send me a list of top places to visit in your area, make sure you list things that aren’t considered to be “the usual”. You may just see your post here on my blog!
Dude, seriously – how do you get over jet lag without practically killing yourself? I was in Paris last week, to speak at the LeWeb conference. While it was a fantastic experience for me, I am still so tired I could die. Paris is nine hours ahead of the time here in Seattle. That is a HUGE difference, let me tell you. I was tired when I got to Paris, and I’m still wiped out two days after returning home.
Yes, I slept a little on the flight. No, it really didn’t seem to help. I’ve only been to Europe once before, and I had the same issues then, as well. I know many of you out there are jet-setters, right? How do you manage to go back and forth between different time zones without dropping over from exhaustion? How the heck do you reset your body clocks so quickly, and adapt within a matter of hours?
The community may not have been with me in presence, but I know you were all with me in spirit. Thanks to those of you who watched my presentation as it happened. Your support means a lot to me! I’m also glad that you all stayed home! It allowed you to keep writing and posting things on our sites!
Chicago is a happening kind of town. It is known as the Windy City, and rightfully so! I hear that the wind never stops, and can even carry a person right in to Wisconsin if they aren’t careful! I’ve always been lucky to not have my clothes blown away while I was visiting the city. That wouldn’t be a sight to see. However, Joe sent the following list of places you should see if you find yourself wandering around Chicago.
The Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum – The Planetarium has a wonderful view of Chicago’s skyline, and is located on Lake Michigan. The Adler Planetarium is known as America’s first planetarium.You can experience the all-digital StarRider Theater, which is 3 stories tall or the Sky Theater.
Sears Tower Sky Deck – Even though the name has now changed, anyone native to Chicago still refers to the tallest building in North America as Sears Tower. There are touch computers in the multi-media elevator ride to the top. You can learn about Chicago’s history and view new displays. The Skydeck is open every day of the year, so you have plenty of time to plan your next trip.
Navy Pier – Navy Pier is full of attractions, restaurants, shops and parks. It is a wonderful place for the entire family. You can jump on the giant Ferris Wheel, or start a game playing Navy Pier Adventure Golf. Also, enjoy the Navy Pier Ropes Course – an obstacle course with four platforms and twelve activities between each platform.
Medieval Times – Just northwest of Chicago, in the Hoffman Estates, is the magnificent Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament. You will be able to watch 11th century jousting tournaments while enjoying finger-licking good roasted chicken and barbecued ribs, or roasted veggies for the non-meat eaters. You will be divided up into different sections of the audience. Each section cheers for a different knight. The knights ride real Andalusion horses, and are dressed in exquisite costumes of the medieval time period. This event is a family favorite.
ESPN Zone – If you like sports, then the ESPN Zone is the place for you. Take part in interactive sports that are played in the ESPN Zone such as Hoops Hysteria, MoCap Golf and NHL 2 Night. When you are finished playing, sit back and relax in the Screening Room, which contains a 16 foot screen surrounded by skybox suites. There are high-definition monitors placed throughout the entire ESPN Zone for watching all of the sporting events. There is also a wonderful American Grill dining selection, as well as a merchandise shop.
Lincoln Park Zoo – Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the last free cultural institutions left in the United States, and it is open every day of the year. You can choose to get on rides such as the SBC Endangered Species Carousel, the swan boat, or the LPZOO Express train. Enjoy wonderful interactive exhibits and learn about all of the animals. There are a couple of gift shops, and many different dining options to choose from.
Martini Ranch – If you are looking for a place to go after a long day just to relax and have fun, then the Martini Ranch should do the trick. You can get a drink (any kind of Martini imaginable), and also order some tasty appetizers such as chicken fingers, nachos, mozzarella sticks and potato skins. The Martini Ranch is popular and can get crowded sometimes – but it is worth it.
Chicago Architecture Foundation – Learn about Chicago’s Architecture in the ArchiCenter. The ArchiCenter is open every day of the year with free admission. Be a part of interpretive exhibition and visit the ArchiCenter museum shop. From the center, you have access to 75 different tours.
Shoreline Sightseeing Skyline Cruise – Take a tour of Chicago’s Skyline. This boat departs from Navy Pier, and continues to the Hancock Building, past the lighthouse and Sears Tower to the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium. You can also choose to take night cruises. Often during the summer, the night cruises boast a beautiful view from the middle of Lake Michigan for the fireworks at Navy Pier.
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio – Visit Wright’s private residence and studio. His home was also his laboratory for architectural designs. There are available museum tours as well as walks that are self-guided audio tours. There are 25 of his buildings to view and learn about. Take part in the historical architecture.
I really like this list, as it lists several things that most people have never heard of. I prefer it this way. I don’t only want to visit the “famous” or “popular” attractions. I want the local flavor!
Jack sent in an excellent list of the things we should be sure to do if we are ever in London. I’ll be in Paris next week, you know. I hear London is only a “hop, skip and jump” from there! However, I doubt I’ll have time to make it over during this trip, since I’m there for a conference. Hopefully, I’ll have a chance to visit one day!
Big Ben – A great sight to see, possibly the most famous clock in the world and part of the Palace of Westminster. It really is something worth seeing. Tours of Big Ben are also run during summer months for those who would like to see more of it.
London Eye – From here, you’ll see a large amount of London from high up. A truly great experience that is something for all to enjoy. Private capsules are available to hire.
Tower of London – The Tower of London remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in London. Complete with tales of historical drama, infamous Beefeaters, the Crown Jewels and the Royal Armouries, a visit to the Tower is a must for all visitors to London.
Buckingham Palace – This is the Queen’s official residence. The State Rooms of the Palace are open to visitors during the Annual Summer Opening in August and September.
Trafalgar Square – How could you miss one of the capital’s most iconic areas? Come and marvel at Nelson’s Column and the four huge lion statues. Feeding the pigeons is now discouraged (due to the spread of diseases) so please don’t bring them any treats. On the north side of the square, you can visit the National Gallery. Just around the corner on St. Martin’s Lane is the National Portrait Gallery. Both have both permanent displays and special exhibitions, so check what’s on before you go.
Tate Modern – The Tate Modern is situated within a converted power station and has an imposing position opposite St. Paul’s Cathedral along the River Thames. You can visit again and again as it’s free and the modern art displays change quite frequently. You’ll often find enormous ‘installations’ in the Turbine Hall on the ground floor. Right outside is the Millennium Bridge (the one that was ‘wobbly’ when it first opened). Don’t forget Tate Britain – you can take the Tate Boat between the two Tates and the London Eye.
Houses of Parliament – The Houses of Parliament is only a short walk down Whitehall from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square. The building is stunning from Parliament Square, but it is worth taking a walk over Westminster Bridge and getting the view from the South Bank. Big Ben is actually the name of the bell in the clock tower which chimes every 15 minutes. Tours inside the Houses of Parliament for overseas visitors are only available during August and September.
Natural History Museum – Known for its underfed Dinosaur at its entrance, the Natural History Museum itself is large and quite impressive. Have a good look at the columns and floors for the detail
> contained within their architecture. Some of the exhibits may cost more, such as the Antarctic experience, but it’s worth it on a hot day. You could easily spend more than a day in the Natural History Museum (Antarctic is pretty big 🙂 ) but fear not, the museum is spilt into different zones so you can focus on what you want to see most and come back for anything you miss.
Westminster Abbey – For many, this was the place to be seen, dead of course. Where as most of us keep our skeletons in the cupboard, Westminster Abbey keeps its bodies buried under the floor. The impressive list of dead people is only matched by the architecture. Westminster Abbey just oozes of the royal dead. Go out back behind the Abbey to the courtyard and take in the views. You can sit on benches or lie in the grass and relax for a while. You will not be disappointed be this amazing place.
Windsor Castle – Located just outside of London, Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. It has been the official residence of the British sovereign for over 900 years and the amazing State Apartments are a favourite with London tourists.
How about you? What’s cool to see and do where you’re from?
I’ve been across the pond exactly once in my life… to Germany. Next week, I’ll be heading to Paris, France for a conference. There are many places I have yet to visit over in that direction, but would very much like to. Portugal is one of those places on my “hope to see someday” list. It’s beautiful there, with much history everywhere you turn. Jorge Bravo lives in Porto, Portugal. He sent me the following list of places that you should definitely take the time to see should you ever find yourself visiting his homeland.
Serralves Museum – This is a building that is as much a work of art as the collections it exhibits inside, surrounded by a magnificent park.
Music House – An architectural masterwork by world-renowned architect Rem Koolhaas.
CAIS DE GAIA Wine Cellars – The city’s fantastic skyline is showcased here. This is the birthplace of one of the world’s most popular wines.
The following recommendations were sent in by Ross, who happens to own his own travel business across the pond. Between being a native of Nottingham — and running the travel business — I am confident that Ross’ suggestions of things you won’t want to miss are right on target. Here’s hoping you’ll get to visit one day!
Sample a Fine Pint in England’s Oldest Inn! Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem (below Nottingham Castle) is England’s oldest inn, serving food and drink for over an incredible 800 years! A real highlight is the Medieval food night (finger-licking food crusade-style) — be it lamb chops, pork cutlets, or oven-baked chicken drumsticks served with hot roasted spuds. And to drink? Flagons of the finest ale served up by the establishment’s very own serving wenches, authentic to the fullest! What a scrumptious number 1 in the top 10 things to do in Nottingham.
Nottingham Castle — Home of the ‘Sheriff of Nottingham’Just above the city, Nottingham Castle has a vibrant museum and art gallery housing collections of silver, glass, decorative items, visual arts, paintings, and Nottinghamshire archaeology and history. This is also the home of the legendary ‘Sheriff of Nottingham’ and, believe it or not, there is still a Sheriff of Nottingham today — however, it is now purely a symbolic role. Be warned: the guides here are some of the most boring you will meet!
Explore Nottingham’s City Caves Enter and explore a whole new world in the caves underneath Nottingham city and descend into the dark depths of the original Anglo-Saxon tunnels. These caves have been used and adapted over the centuries by local people to escape and take refuge from the world above. During World War 2 on 8 May, 1941, 500 high explosive bombs were dropped over Nottingham in a fearsome blitz; thousands of people sought refuge and retreated to the safety of the shelters built in the caves.
Visit Sherwood Forest — the Home of Robin Hood Once a royal hunting forest, this is the legendary home of the outlaw Robin Hood. Today, it’s part of a national nature reserve because of its national ecological importance. There are 900 veteran oak trees here, including the famous Major Oak. This forest veteran is a huge oak tree thought to be around 800 years old. In a 2002 survey, it was voted “Britain’s favourite tree.” According to local lore, its hollow trunk was used as a hideout by Robin Hood’s men. What can I say, I’m a tree-loving kind of guy and have to say that this is one beautiful tree and certainly worth a visit.
Take Some Spare Pants on a Nottingham Ghost Tour Join a ghost tour and let yourself be led into parts of the city where the street plan is nearly 1,000 years old, hear fascinating stories about ghosts and the odd gory execution whilst looking over your shoulder in the graveyard; this, of course, is a must do! Don’t forget your spare pair of pants.
Take a Poke Around the Bad Boy Poet’s Home at Newstead Abbey Best known as the former home of the poet Lord Byron. Visitors interested in the poet Byron can see his private apartments as well as letters, objects, and furniture that belonged to the poet. You can have fun trying on replica period costumes in the Dressing Up Room or marvel at the expansive paneling in the Great Hall. Personally, I think you can’t beat sitting out in the sun enjoying lunch in this beautiful English setting. My tip, though, is not to bother viewing the Japanese gardens as they are, in my view, not very Japanese. Having said that, I have never been to Japan, but you can trust me.
Sample a Ghost Supper at the Galleries of Justice if You Dare!The only museum of its type in all of Europe! It has preserved the site of Nottinghamshire’s old courthouse and county gaol as well as maintaining a vast collection of spine chilling artefacts relating to crime and punishment over the last three centuries. Go deep within the gaol to discover unsolved mysteries and see if anything paranormal happens to you. With unexplained sounds, smells, sensations, and apparitions reported frequently, it won’t only be the storyteller giving you the heebie jeebies!
The Shakespeare Festival Every year in August, Nottingham Castle provides the perfect backdrop for the Shakespeare Festival. These productions are performed in beautiful Elizabethan costumes by a cast of Britain’s finest professional Shakespearian actors. They include live music, action, exciting sword fights, and hilarious comedy all set in the stunning natural surroundings that Shakespeare intended for his plays. I recommend this greatly as an evening with Shakespeare is an experience in itself. (Shakespeare himself won’t be there.)
Visit Wollaton Hall, Gardens, and Deer Park Standing on a natural hill three miles west of Nottingham City Centre and built by Sir Francis Willoughby between 1580 and 1588, Wollaton Hall is a beautiful Elizabethan mansion set in 500 acres of spectacular gardens and parkland. Explore the magical home, stroll around the gardens, and if you get bored, you can chase the deer around the park. Be warned though that these deer don’t fear easily and may even end up chasing you instead; you may be wondering how I know this.
Go to a Nottingham Forest Football (Soccer) Match If you have never been to a live football match before, then head over to the ‘city ground’ and watch two times European champions Nottingham Forest. There is nothing quite like a live football match; soak up the atmosphere, enjoy a half time pie, and cheer on the Reds to victory. Having said this, I am actually a Liverpool fan, so don’t expect to see me down there!
From the pictures I’ve seen, I know that Nottingham is a beautiful area. After reading the tips from Ross, I’m inclined to believe there are a lot of cool things to see and do, as well. Hopefully I will have a chance to visit one day.
This is the last in our series of travel videos – for now, at least. We have uploaded quite a few of these in the past several months. Each one is full of the places that you – the community – think we should visit if we should ever travel to your hometowns. This last installment is a list of places you don’t want to miss if you ever happen to find yourself in Florida!
Daytona Beach – This is likely one of the most famous beaches in the US. It’s a beautiful stretch of sand, with so many different things to do you won’t know where to start.
Daytona International Speedway – Daytona is the home of one of the most-loved race tracks in the country. It’s a super speedway, which means it’s a much larger and faster track than most. It’s also where racing legend Dale Earnhardt died during the last lap of the Daytona 500 in February of 2001.
Bucca di Beppo – This is one of the best Italian restaurants on the face of the planet. There are locations spread around the country, but you’ll find one right in Daytona Beach, as well.
Ponce de Leon Lighthouse – Completed in 1887, the Ponce de Leon Inlet Light Station was built when the area was known as Mosquito Inlet. After decades of restoration by the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association, it stands today as one of the best preserved, most complete Light Stations in the nation.
Congo River Mini Golf – Travel to a world of excitement… from high atop giant waterfalls and rocky summits to the depths of mysterious caves, Congo River Golf delivers the best in family fun!
Jacksonville Zoo – Escape to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens for the only walking safari in Northeast Florida. Discover the earth’s wildlife through interactive and educational experiences. A true family adventure, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is growing and changing daily and is dedicated to the consistently improving.
Jacksonville Museum of Science and History – This is a very interesting museum consisting of loads of historical content, including Dino- Raur. Dino-Raur is a dinosaur exhibit with “real” moving, and noise making dinosaurs. Water Worlds is another exhibit, where you get a glimpse into three different coral reef tanks and two freshwater tanks.
Veterans Memorial Park – Visit the beautiful wall, dedicated to the Veterans of the United States Armed Forces. It’s a somber place, and one that will make you want to just sit and reflect quietly. A moment of silence is always called for here.
Atlantic Beach – Atlantic Beach is another awesome place to visit, filled with activities for young and old.
Cheer your Favorite Team – Florida is home to many professional sports teams, including the Miami Dolphins, Florida Marlins, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (just to name three!).
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The skyline in Honolulu is absolutely beautiful during the late evening. Isn’t that view amazing?! The reason I recorded this, though, is to get all of you involved. I want to have everyone record a short video response for this post, and show us your skyline. You can live in a city, a small town, or even out in the country. Take a short video and show us what it looks like in your neck of the woods just before sunset!
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