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An Art Trip To Iowa City

An Art Trip To Iowa City Jun 26th, 2013 at 10:00AM: Dmitry Samarov On a Thursday morning I throw a dozen or so paintings and a couple changes of clothing into the car, load an audiobook version of "Moby Dick" on the iPod and drive west on I-80. I've never been to Iowa City. In fact, I don't think I've ever been to Iowa, even though I live in Chicago, a mere two hours or so from the state line. A woman named Chris Ameling who follows me on...

US National Trail System Expands By 650 Miles

US National Trail System Expands By 650 Miles Jun 5th, 2013 at 9:00AM: Paulbalegend via Wikimedia Last week – just in time for National Trails Day – newly appointed U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced the designation of 28 new National Recreation Trails located in 18 states across the country. These new additions offer a wide variety of experiences for outdoor enthusiasts while adding an additional 650 miles to the existing U.S. National...

$56 A Night To Pitch A Tent? Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

$56 A Night To Pitch A Tent? Happy Memorial Day Weekend! May 21st, 2013 at 10:00AM: Since when did camping become expensive? I live in Chicago and have spent a ridiculous amount of time researching places to camp over the Memorial Day weekend in the last two weeks. If I had planned ahead, booking a campsite would be quick and easy but we tend not to plan very far in advance, which makes travel during holidays complicated and sometimes expensive. We wanted to camp at Devil's...

Three Free Transportation Options For Those Who Need Them Most

Three Free Transportation Options For Those Who Need Them Most Dec 10th, 2012 at 4:00PM: Transportation options for most travelers give a choice of going from one place to another by air, land or sea – if they can pay. To those challenged by economic factors or health concerns, payment is often not an option, making travel planning nearly impossible. But a few companies and organizations are jumping in to the holiday travel spirit with both feet, offering much needed...

The Worst-Smelling Towns In America

The Worst-Smelling Towns In America Aug 1st, 2012 at 9:00AM: Last week, I was in Eureka, California, for a couple of days with my parents and brother's family. Despite the cute, historic downtown and an epic feast at the renown Samoa Cookhouse, our overwhelming impression of this coastal city is that it should be renamed "Eureeka," because it stinks – literally. The stench of ... bait fish? Fish meal or perhaps cat food processing enveloped our...

Top 3 Places In The US To Experience LEGO-Mania This Summer

Top 3 Places In The US To Experience LEGO-Mania This Summer Jun 10th, 2012 at 5:00PM: LEGOs – show me a man, woman or child who doesn't love these little plastic building bricks and I'll show you three exhibitions that will impress them to pieces this summer. LEGO® Architecture: Towering Ambition National Building Museum, Washington, DC Through September 3, 2012 The LEGO exhibit "Towering Ambition" has been wowing visitors to Washington, DC's National Building...

Gawker's Worst 50 States

Gawker's Worst 50 States Aug 25th, 2011 at 11:30AM: I've been following Gawker's newest series, The Worst 50 States. I've been enjoying following this series. In an effort to pin down not only the best states in the US of A, but, more importantly, the worst states, Gawker compiled a Gawker-invented rating system in order to rank our fair fifty. Granted, this rating system consists solely of the viewpoints of those on staff for Gawker, so the...

Five states where you're most likely to hit a deer this fall

Five states where you're most likely to hit a deer this fall Oct 4th, 2010 at 3:30PM: Leaf-peepers are about to hit the road in force – as they always do this time of year. While soaking in the burning foliage colors with your eyes, it's only too easy to forget you're behind the wheel, a situation that can lead to disastrous consequences. There are some states where beautiful foliage and deer prancing on the streets just seem to go together, according to a study by insurance...

Corn Palace to the Jolly Green Giant: 10 Midwest roadside attractions you must see

Corn Palace to the Jolly Green Giant: 10 Midwest roadside attractions you must see Jun 9th, 2010 at 12:00PM: America's heartland is home to plentiful crops, rolling hills and orange sunsets. You can find a Dairy Queen next to a cherry tree and park yourself in front of a drive-in movie on a hot summer night. There's also the world's largest bottle of ketchup, and enchanted highway and the Jolly Green Giant.... wait, what? It's true, travelers. The Midwest is home to many quirky attractions that might...

Three Midwest parks to cater to your summertime plans

Three Midwest parks to cater to your summertime plans Jun 8th, 2010 at 11:00AM: The Midwest may not have the mega-parks of the National Park Service, but they've got something you won't find at top tourist attractions: solitude. You won't find huge waterfalls or towering mountains in the midwest, but then again, you also won't have to wait in line for jockey for a camping space. You'll find peace, quiet and an abundance of wildlife often unappreciated. If you're looking for...

Sioux City built on rock, roll & crappy video

May 11th, 2010 at 1:30PM: If there's one thing we love better than visiting quirky places it's watching promotional videos for quirky places. Real, fake, earnest or satirical, promo videos for cities are always hysterical. From the low production values to the casting of "real people," everything is just sensationally amusing. We've featured one such video here before, when we celebrated all that is right with Cleveland....

18 more great spots for hikers

18 more great spots for hikers Apr 30th, 2010 at 2:00PM: Most hikers agree: the best way to really learn about a place is to experience it by walking or climbing. It inspired us here at Gadling to take a look in February at the world's best hikes. There were so many great spots, in fact, we decided to follow it up today with 18 more. This collection of treasured, world-class hikes offers a variety of unforgettable experiences, and promises...

Road Trip Tips: make lodging part of the journey, not just a place to stay

Road Trip Tips: make lodging part of the journey, not just a place to stay Apr 20th, 2010 at 10:00AM: Spring's upon us, and those summer months you've been desperately waiting for are nearly here (in this hemisphere, anyway). We can't help but say that anytime is a perfect time for a road trip, but the prime months for hitting the highway are just ahead, and that leaves you precious little time to prepare. In haste, many road trippers tend to overlook, or simply brush aside, one critical aspect...

16 great farmers' markets

16 great farmers' markets Apr 15th, 2010 at 3:00PM: Farmers' markets are not only a great way to sample a community's natural bounty, they're also a unique setting to experience its culture. While each farmers' market is different, a really good farmers' market brings a sense of community to the cities and municipalities where they operate. Wondering where you can experience some of the freshest produce, tastiest snacks and friendliest people...

Hell train hits Chicago 19 hours late

Jan 10th, 2010 at 8:00AM: Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy The passengers who got stuck in the Channel Tunnel recently had an awful situation, but was it worse than what the passengers who just pulled into Chicago endured? Those who endured the Eurostar incident were stuck for 15 hours without food, water or information. The passengers on Amtrak's California Zephyr reached...

Iowa road workers hungry after dropping garlic salt on their roads

Iowa road workers hungry after dropping garlic salt on their roads Dec 18th, 2008 at 2:30PM: It is cold outside. Very, very cold. This time of year road crews in the many parts of the country are working overtime to keep the ice and slush to a minimum, and that involves dropping massive amounts of salt on the asphalt. If you live in the Des Moines suburb Ankeny you may have noticed a slightly more aromatic salt concoction being deposited. When local spice manufacturer Tones tried to...

A Summer project to celebrate where you live

Jun 27th, 2008 at 11:30AM: Using Matt Harding's concept of dancing as a way to unify the world in his "Where the Hell is Matt?" videos, Jeff Hoskinson highlighted his home state, Iowa in a spoof of sorts. He kind of looks like Matt, but he's not Matt. Matt does appear in the video in the "Inspiration" by section. There is a handy reference guide in the YouTube description that lists everywhere featured in the video....

Personal jouney: Growing up in 2 countries, 7 states

Personal jouney: Growing up in 2 countries, 7 states May 22nd, 2008 at 9:00AM: For the first six years of my life, I was a rather normal kid, aside from the fact I still slept with my mom (back then, the Chinese frowned upon niceties like extra beds), and before every hot meal, I fetched from downstairs the bricks of coal needed to heat the stove. Then, on my sixth birthday, mom said the Americans would finally let us come live with dad, who was studying at Texas Tech in...

Shake it up at Iowa's salt and pepper museum

Shake it up at Iowa's salt and pepper museum Oct 18th, 2007 at 11:35AM: Traer, Iowa, wants its share of the state's tourism income. The only problem? The central town doesn't have any sights to draw tourists. But never mind that because residents have decided to create their own attraction. The city approved a $12,500 (collected in sales tax) purchase of 14,400 pairs of salt and pepper shakers. The shakers were assembled by resident Ruth Rasmussen, who's been...

Fall Leaf Peeping by Rail

Fall Leaf Peeping by Rail Sep 13th, 2007 at 10:00PM: The leaves haven't started to change in Columbus, Ohio-- yet, but they will--soon. This morning the air was crisp and cool. Yep, leaf changing conditions are here, and I expect edges of red will appear in a couple of weeks until eventually there will be bursts of color everywhere. If you are interested in optimum leaf peeping, plan a bit a head. Instead of taking a driving trip for fall splendor...

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