Make your winter holiday visit to Washington D.C. special at the U.S. Botanic Garden exhibit. The holiday season elevates this local attraction to a top thing to do in DC with it's amazing train and model exhibit. This year it is all about train stations from around the country vs the 2017 display features model trains traveling through an exhibit of roadside attratctions from around the country with each state represented. Fair warning that this is a busy exhibit, typically with lines and parking in the area over the holidays is very limited. This is a great family excursion exploring the 50 state road side attraction while trains whistle by and Thomas the tank engine chugs along its tracks.
Tradtional Season's Greetings includes pine trees and pine wreaths but get ready for something unique. Your visit to the Botanic Gardens will deliver you an architecutral experience of how plant materials are used to build the models of many of the Washington D.C. landmarks. There are twelve plant-based model in the 2017 exhibit that incorporate materials such as corriander seeds, willow sticks, pine cone scales and over 70 more plant materials. It would be a great eye spy game to try and find each and every plant material used on the models. This is painstaking work with U.S. Capitol builidng taking over 600 hours to construct but what an amazing sight. Models on exhibit this year are include the following:
Albert Einstein Memorial
The 2018 hoilday exhibit feature train stations from around the country which is so appropriate because there are trains. You can read more about this years exhibit here.
Biltmore Depot North Carolina 1896
Cannondale Metro-North Railroad Station Connecticut 1852
Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal New Jersey 1889
Chattanooga Train Shed Tennesse 1859
Cincinnati Union Terminal Ohio 1933
Citrus Train and Citrus Groves Diorama Florida 1925
Dinosaur Depot -- --
East Glacier Park Station Montana 1912
Ellicott City Station Maryland 1830
Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station Pennsylvania 1859
Grain Elevator Minnesota --
Grain Fields Kansas --
Grand Canyon Depot Arizona 1910
Grand Central Terminal New York 1871
Kirkwood Missouri Pacific Station Missouri 1839
Lahaina Station Hawaii 1970
Los Angeles Union Station California 1939
Michigan Central Station Michigan 1913
North Bennington Depot Vermont 1880
North Pole Station -- --
Peanut Farms Alabama --
Pennsylvania Station (interior) New York 1910
Pikes Peak Cog Railway Colorado 1891
Point of Rocks Station Maryland 1860s
Salt Lake City Union Pacific Depot Utah 1909
Santa Fe Depot California 1887
Santa Fe Depot Oklahoma 1928
Union Station Washington 1910
Union Station D.C. 1907
Viaduct Train Hotel Maryland 1873
Vicksburg Train Barge Mississippi 1907
There are more than 40 roadside exhibits at the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory this year expressing America's love for the automobile. If you are a Route 66 enthusiast you will recognize many of the attractions. But there is so much more like the first on the list below that honors one of the most destructive pest ever on U.S. soil.
Boll Weevil Monument Alabama
Cadillac Ranch Texas
Coffee Pot and Cup Water Towers Iowa
Coney Island Hot Dog Stand Colorado
Corn Palace South Dakota
Dinosaur Park Dinosaurs South Dakota
Earn of Corn Water Tower Minnesota
Elwood, The World’s Tallest Concrete Gnome Iowa
Golden Driller Statue Oklahoma
Hollywood Sign California
Jimmy Carter Peanut Statue Georgia
Jolly Green Giant Statue Minnesota
Leaning Tower of Niles Illinois
Lucy the Elephant New Jersey
Mr. Potato Head Statue Rhode Island
Mt. Rushmore South Dakota
Niagara Falls and Maid of the Mist Boat New York
Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox Minnesota
Peachoid Water Tower South Carolina, Alabama
Pineapple Water Tower Hawaii
Randy’s Donuts California
Route 66 Diner New Mexico
Santa Monica Pier California
Sapp Bros. Coffee Pot Water Tower Nebraska
See Rock City Barn Tennessee
Spoonbridge and Cherry Minnesota
Teapot Dome Gas Station Washington
The Big Chair Washington, D.C.
The Big Duck New York
The Blue Whale Oklahoma
Twistee Treat Florida, Texas, New York, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois
Volkswagen Beetle Spider Iowa, Alabama, California, Nevada, Idaho, Pennsylvania
Watermelon Water Tower Texas
Wawona Tree Tunneled Sequoia California
“Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” Sign Nevada
Willis Tower (aka Sears Tower) Illinois
World’s Largest Basket Ohio
World’s Largest Bat Kentucky
World’s Largest Chili Pepper New Mexico
World’s Largest Pecan Texas
World’s Largest Pistachio New Mexico
Looking for an American West getaway, full of classic western scenery with red rocks, high deserts, Rocky Mountain peaks, with dozens of attractions and activities to enjoy nature, adventure, culture and much more? Then Colorado Springs, Colorado, has it all; anything and everything you could possibly want to satisfy your wanderlust for a vacation in the western USA.
Colorado Springs, situated at the base of America's famous mountain, Pikes Peak with the magnificent red rock formations of Garden of the Gods in its shadow, offers so many ways to enjoy the impressive landscape and experience the history of this region. If all you have is a few days and want to escape to a stunning western location in one concentrated area with a huge variety of activities that will satisfy all your interests, then this is the place to go, right in the middle of the USA. Here's a look at the best things to see over three days in Colorado Springs, although a week or a lifetime would be better.
SomedayTrips® set the team on a project to select the best of the best travel videos of 2016 from our collection. The main requirement, the videos had to be added to our website this year. The team looks at community response, quality, creativity and general interest to a traveler in deciding on this list for the year. It was a hard list to choose from with hundreds of videos added throughout the year. Our goal is to curate the best travel videos to dream and plan for your travel destination and we hope some of these will inspire you to dig deeper into the rich collection we offer. All our video picks will be on our Featured 8 page during the month of January 2016 or click on each of the photos below.
The Rocky mountains of Alberta are amazing and video artist Elena Suvorova captures it marvelously. Longer than our typical video at 5 minutes we can understand how cutting this down might have been challenging. The music and scenes are wonderful, ranking it one of our most popular videos of the year. If you are thinking about traveling to Jasper and Banff National Parks, then this makes for a great coffee break or chill video with a glass of wine after work to help you dream. You can read our full article with video here. If you love Alberta here is another favorite video pick by our team.
Bora Bora French Polynesia
Lush tropical views and bungalows over water seem to have the right elements to draw the eye of anyone. Bora Bora is a popular bucketlist destination and this travel video is going to taunt you to move this one up the list. The video captures many of the wonderful features of a trip to Bora Bora. It starts a little slow but give it some time and it will start to get you dreaming very quickly. You can tell a lot of work went into planning some of these shots so thanks to Alex Eshelman for sharing this video that makes our list for 2016. This was a readers choice winner. For our full article on the video click here.
The mystery and culture of Morocco awaits you and Dustin Lee has created a video loved by our team for so many reasons. The opening scene has one wondering "ok we are here where to now" and then you are whisked away on an adventure through Morocco. This travel video creates a wonderful balance between sharing an experience, the scenery and some of the culture of Morocco. The choice to include the Bee Gees song in here followed by the groans of a camel was an interesting break and made our reviewers laugh. We have written an article on how music can make travel memories come alive. Shot with a Panasonic GH4 and one lens is also to be respected. We are very happy to include this one in our list. Take a look at our full article on this wonderful video.
The magestic geologic features of Utah stun visitors every year and if you can't wait to travel there you can start now with this video. Our featured artist Christian mesmorized our team with the scenes and techniques used to provide a beautiful film and portray the wonder of hiking in this open country. If you are feeling cramped in your apartment or cubicle, this video will take your mind on a hike that will liberate you from your confining space. For some you might be saying "I could never walk on that ledge" and others "I would love to do that". Each to there own adventure, we say, and dreaming about it is always safe. This should make anyone that loves to hike and explore put Utah on there list for a visit. As we mention, drones have brought a new perspective to creating videos and this video uses it well. Regrettably, regulations have crippled many of us from using our drones more but we understand that improper use can be dangerous. Our complete travel video article on this 2016 pick is here.
Niagara Falls Canada
The fury of Niagara Falls and amazing views are what makes this natural wonder a site to see. This video created by our team provides a potential traveler visiting Niagara Falls for a day an idea of what to do and the sights you may see. Only a short distance from Toronto, it is a must-see attraction. We loved taking all the b-roll from our videos and patching together something that would be short and to the point for potential travelers who might experience getting a bit wet. Deciding on the right music was a challenge at first but once we applied Ride of the Valkeries we were sold on it. At only two minutes long it is a great one to view while taking a break. Here is the link to the full video article.
This video is a team-pick favorite. After watching this video we feel like we experience a moment of time in this region of the world. The videographers did a great job with their cuts and scenes to give an excellent representation of this travel destination without high altitude sickness. We would like to thank Claire & Max for sharing this excellent travel video that makes our best of 2016 travel video list.
This video was a professional production to promote tourism for the Blue Ridge region of Virginia in the United States. It evokes a spark when viewing to want to escape the city and get in touch with nature. An excellent production by DavePerryCinematographerLLC , this video had received a Telly award. Our team is based in Virginia which made this one a bit more special for us. A great video to watch if you are looking to plan a camping trip or hike in the Appalachin region. Our full video article can be found here.
British Columbia Canada
Another professional travel video production created by the British Columbia tourism board (Destination British Columbia) we fell in love with this one early. The introduction of a poetic story-telling matched with incredible scenery is a combination we found inspiring. Travel videos should move one to dream, plan and then execute and this could clearly do that for many travelers with British Columbia on their list. The words alone in this video could be something you just listen to on your headphones at work when you are looking for a brief escape that will calm and enrich your life. Explore the full video article here.
This short video takes you on an excellent slow-motion close-up tour of the Wave, one of the most amazing natural sandstone rock formations in the USA. It's located in Coyote Buttes North in Arizona. The trailhead begins in Utah. Due to the fragile nature of the formation and the number of people wanting to visit it, only a limited number of people are allowed to enter per day through a lottery system and by permit only. This park is actually under the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and not the U.S. National Parks Service. The video features excellent photography by Local Adventurer that will take you right up onto the formations. Visit their blog to read more about the Wave and learn how to get a permit: http://localadventurer.com/the-wave-permits-coyote-buttes-north-vermillion-cliffs.
Traveling to Great Britain? Make sure Wales is on your travel list. We learned many interesting facts about Wales in this informative video. Besides its magnificent green landscape, Wales has 3 national parks, numerous beautiful beaches along 750 miles of coastline, and more castles per square kilometer than anywhere else in Europe. Several well-known movies were filmed in Wales, including Harry Potter, The Huntsman and more. The country also inspired some well-known writers. But we'll let you watch this video to learn the many other facts you may not know about Wales.
Mike O'Hara takes you on a road trip through Monument Valley, Utah. You feel like you're right in the car as you drive along the road through the towering snow-covered buttes.
Learn more about Monument Valley and plan your trip at Utah's Canyon Country website.
Visit Utah provides more information about the five national parks and road trips that you can take in Utah.
Watch this incredibly inspiring and stunning video of Zion National Park in Utah. If you haven't been there, you will feel like you're right there as the camera takes you through the streams, valleys, meadows and along mountain peaks from day to night in timelapse mode.
Comments from More Than Just Parks: ZION is the culmination of nearly a month spent exploring Zion National Park during peak fall color. Exquisitely carved by the Virgin River over millions of years, Zion Canyon is one of the most stunning places on earth. But don't stop there! This park has so much more to offer outside of the main canyon. Golden meadows, sweeping vistas, red rock mountains, towering white temples, and powerful ancient rivers comprise this incredible treasure. This film was shot primarily in 8K.
The USA National Park Service is offering several free admission days in 2017 to celebrate the start of its second century. That's 117 national parks that normally charge a fee for admission will be free during this time. There will be various events throughout the year to celebrate this milestone as well.