Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Grand Tetons of Wyoming

As summer winds down, don’t miss out on seeing the magnificent West. One of the most overwhelming landscapes you will ever behold is Grand Teton National Park. The magnificent mountain range captures your heart as you enter. The tremendous peaks with their snow-capped glory inspire awe. Thankfully hotels and waffle houses do not mar the view. It remains as it was when the wagon trains passed through its canyons.

There are many different kinds of plants and animals located in Grand Teton National Park. The best time to see animals is early morning just before the sun peeks over the Teton Mountain Range and at dusk. Most animals can be seen near water, especially Moose. The Snake River flows from its headwater throughout Yellowstone National Park then south through Jackson Hole. Grand Teton National Park is not only famous for its beautiful scenery, but also for the hiking trails. Most of the trails are very accessible, vary in length, and have a variety of difficulty levels ranging from an easy walk to a technical climb.

One great way to experience Grand Teton National Park and its lakes is to take a boat ride across Jenny Lake to the mouth of Cascade Canyon. This classic U-shaped canyon, was carved by one of the most recent glaciers to flow east from the Teton Range. An active glacier can be seen from Jenny Lake on the north side of Mount Owen. A short hike will lead you to Hidden Falls and further on is Inspiration Point. String Lake and Leigh Lake, just to the north of Jenny Lake, are ideal for a day of canoeing or kayaking. The beauty in the towering mountains from the water's vantage is awe-inspiring. The splendor of Jenny Lake with its clear water and smooth stones is impossible to describe. You will just have to go!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Explore History and Ghosts in Charleston

Charleston Adventure

Visiting Charleston is like stepping into an antique movie set with pristine historic atmosphere.  This glorious city is an American treasure of southern history.  Charles Town was named in honor of King Charles II of England. King Charles was known for his womanizing and a lifestyle as a pleasure seeker. It has been said the King Charles was "the father of his people, or at least, a great many of them." Founded in 1670, early settlers established the new town which amazingly, by 1690, was America's fifth largest city.  Charles Town became one of the largest and wealthiest cities in America as the result of the trading of indigo and rice.  Initially, the population consisted mostly of English settlers, and later added many French Protestants called "Huguenots" as well as Irish.


Early Charles Town suffered a serious threat by murderous and thieving pirates, most notably Blackbeard.  Also threatened by Spaniards and Indians, it didn't take long for resentment to build against the English Lord Proprietors who were neither willing nor able to protect Charles Town from attacks. Revolutionary activity began in Charles Town as early as 1719.


It is interesting to walk the original streets of peninsular Charles Town. A good many of the original 17th and 18th century structures were destroyed in one of the many fires Charles Town endured, many of which were caused by military sieges by the British and later by the Union Army.


Much of Charleston’s past is neatly located on a peninsula, and there are lots of ways to experience it, from walking tours to carriage rides, ghost walks and boat tours. Charleston’s tour guides are highly trained and most have a background in history and many have written books.

The ghost tours add drama to evening walks.  Stories of hauntings such as Lavinia, the first woman to be hung in South Carolina, after she and her husband coolly murdered a number of unsuspecting house guests, or of several of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, who were imprisoned in the dungeon under the Old Provost Jail, or of Blackbeard’s pirates, who were hung over nearby creeks as a warning to their shipmates.  The tour is filled with stories of resident ghosts, haunted inns, Gullah superstitions, and assorted other ghost stories from Charleston's haunted history and has been featured on CNN.

Plantation tours are a great way to experience the charm of Charleston. They're about a 30-minute drive from the city and you'll want to give yourself several hours to enjoy them. Middleton Place is a elegant choice and includes a restaurant and inn.

Charleston's historic homes are the city’s greatest attraction. Many homes in Peachtree City were modeled from the beautiful Charleston architecture.  A carriage ride will take you through Charleston's historic neighborhoods with the clip clop on the pavement of the horse drawn carriage as it ambles slowly down the charming and celebrated avenues. Motor Tours are two hours, and typically include a stop at "The Battery" so you can take in the beautiful view of Charleston Harbor.

Charleston can also be enjoyed by boat in a variety of ways. Fort Sumter Tours leave from either the new Wharf area or Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant. Also consider the romantic Charleston Dinner Cruise offered by Spirit Line Cruises or Charleston Harbor Tours is a excellent choice to enjoy Charleston from the harbor or you may want to book a private dinner cruise for group.

Call for more information or to book your reservation call 866-550-8939.