Lake Michigan- The exquisite beauty

Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes that is located within the United States of America.

With an average depth of 279 ft., it has a surface area of 22,404 sq miles, which makes it the third-largest Lake by surface area after Lake Superior and Lake Huron. Clear and calm one day, raging with storm-surge waves the next, the Lake is a complete spectacle. It is 494 km in length and almost 190 km in width. 

Unique attractions:

Lake Michigan has several beaches. It is also referred to as the “Third Coast” after the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Sailing the edge of Lake Michigan, your eyes are treated to both coastal landscapes and wild forest, with lots of places to stop and explore along the way. One can spot many dunes at the Indiana Dunes National Park in Lake Michigan. 

Many passenger and vehicle ferries run their ferry services on Lake Michigan, thus joining Wisconsin on the western shore with Michigan on the eastern coast. The Lake Express was established in 2004, and it now carries passengers and vehicles across the Lake between Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Muskegon. 

A brief history of Lake Michigan: 

As the white-crested, sky-blue waves drift towards the shores, they bring with them a long history. The name is acquired from the Ojibwa Indian word mishigami, meaning large Lake. The form that is recognized as Lake Michigan today began about 1.2 billion years ago when two tectonic plates were ripped aloof, creating the Mid-Continent Rift. 

French explorer Samuel de Champlain sent his assistant Jean Nicolett to find the “Northwest Passage,” but he ended up discovering Lake Michigan around 1634. In 1679, Nicolette traveled the southernmost part of the Lake where modern-day Chicago is.

Local attractions:

Along with an innumerable number of beaches and Islands in Lake Michigan, there are also many parks. The National Park maintains both the Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore and the Indiana Dunes National Park. There are various state and local parks located on the shores of the Lake, such as The Chicago Park District Beaches, Duck Lake State Park, etc. There are a few more lighthouses across Lake Michigan. They are:

·        Illinois Lighthouses

·        Indiana Lighthouses

·        Michigan Lighthouses

·        Wisconsin Lighthouses

Tours:

Tourism and recreation are major industries of Lake Michigan.

A few cruise ships operate on Lake Michigan, including a pair of sailing ships. Ferry and boating services are available daily. 

You can learn water sports on the lakes, such as yachting, sea kayaking, diving, kitesurfing, and Lake surfing.

The Great Lakes Circle Tour offers a phenomenal tour that connects all of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.

Great Lakes steamers have been operating since the mid-1800s. Several ferries currently serve on the Great Lakes to carry passengers to various islands, including Beaver Island and Bois Blanc Island (Michigan). Now, two-car ferry services cross Lake Michigan from around April to November: the SS Badger, a steamer, and the Lake Express, a high-speed catamaran, from Milwaukee to Muskegon, Michigan.

Restaurants and local food spots:

St. Joseph is a beach town pub that sits atop Lake Michigan. It offers one of the best cuisines and a great atmosphere that you wouldn’t expect from a brewpub. Burgers to full course meals, this place serves it all. You can also visit the Silver Harbor Brewing Company to have a taste of the local food. It serves vegan and 100% gluten-free food too! Restaurants like Hub Central 185 and The Blackbird Waterhouse provide you with authentic American cuisine.     

Conclusion:

Lake Michigan is truly an exotic beauty of the world. With glass-like features and an alluring expanse beyond imagination, it is truly nature’s gift to humanity. 

Golden Gate Bridge: Spot to Spend a Golden Time

The Golden Gate Bridge, one of the seven wonders of the modern world, is a suspension bridge that spans 1.7 miles over the strait of Golden Gate.

The bridge connects San Francisco to the Marin Headlands.

The bridge attracts over 10 million visitors annually owing to its behemoth 746-feet tall towers and iconic Art deco design. With its international orange color, the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most photographed bridges in the world.     

Unique attractions

The fact that the Golden Gate Bridge is the most highlightable attraction of the place is evident. Walking across the bridge, marveling at its art deco styling and its humongous build is a pleasure in itself.

Besides the bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge Park is another major attraction. You can visit the De Young Museum, which is a famous fine arts museum, or you could relax in the tranquil environment beside the lakes and meadows inside the park. A visit to the Conservatory of Flowers is likely to top every flower lover’s to-do-list.

History of the bridge

Before the construction of the bridge, San Francisco did not have any permanent links with the regions across the bay. Once connected to what is the present Marin County through a ferry service, the lack of connectivity was taking a heavy toll on the city’s growth rate, which was below the national average. 

After much apprehension, strikes, and lawsuits, the designing of the bridge started under chief engineer Joseph Strauss. The Wall Street Crash in 1929 created financial problems for the construction of the bridge. Finally, the building began in 1933 after the Bank of America decided to finance the project by buying up all the bonds.  

The bridge opened on May 27, 1937, and the celebrations lasted for a week. Before the bridge opened for vehicles, almost 200,000 people crossed the bridge on either foot or roller skates and the mayor, Angelo Rossi, crossed the bridge in a motorcade alongside other prominent officials. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signaled the opening of the bridge for vehicles by pressing a button at the Washington D.C. on the next day.  

Attractive activities for kids and young adults at the Golden Gate Bridge and the park

Besides the bike ride across the bridge, there are several attractions for kids at the Golden Gate Park. The East and the center section of the park are the most attractive to kids.

Be it running around in one of the many playgrounds, quenching their scientific thirst at the California Academy of Sciences, watching bison at the Buffalo paddock, or taking a boat ride in the Stow Lake; they will love their time at the spot.

Tours available at the Golden Gate Bridge

There are several bicycles, e-bike, and group-walking tours available at the Golden Gate Bridge and the park. You may choose one of them. Besides, there are also some cruises across the Golden Gate Bay. 

Restaurants and Local food spots

There are many restaurant options available close to the bridge. Some of them are listed below.

·        Murray Circle Restaurant

This restaurant is located at a former army fort and is famous for its Californian cuisine. The food and beverage prices are justified, making it a perfect place to have a lunch break after a walk on the bridge.

·        Round House Café

If you are looking for a quick something to eat, this snack café will be a perfect choice. The prices are reasonable, and the view of the bridge from the restaurant is stunning.

The Golden Gate Bridge and the park is a haven for all types of visitors, the active ones, and the not-so-active ones. It offers multiple activities for either group. So, this summer, make some golden memories at the Golden Gate Bridge.

From France with Love

As a token of their friendship, “Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World” was gifted to the United States by the French people.

It was dedicated on October 28, 1886. Every day, around 10,000 people visit this monumental statue located on an island in Lower Manhattan. 

Unique attractions at the statue

The statue weighs around 225 tons. One can access it from inside through a staircase, with 154 steps, from the pedestal and up to the head. Also, the light green color of the statue is due to the weathering of the original copper layering. Here are some of the exciting things to see when visiting Liberty Island:

  • Statue of Liberty Exhibit: Located inside the pedestal right below the statue, this museum has a huge collection of photographs and artifacts with detailed descriptions of the events relating to the monument’s history. 
  • Visiting the Crown: One of the most rewarding experiences of any trip to New York City, the crown can only be visited by reservations. 
  • Visiting the Pedestal: Roughly half the height of the entire monument, the pedestal offers scenic views of New York, New Jersey, New York Harbor, and Ellis Island. Also, the pedestal provides reservations.

History of Lady Liberty 

Frederic Auguste Bartholdi designed the copper statue; however, Alexandre Gustave Eiffel built its steel framework (from the Eiffel Tower fame). As a project, it was a joint effort between France & the United States. It also became a symbol of the friendship between the people of both countries. The French were responsible for the statue’s make and its assembly, but the Americans built the pedestal on which the statue would stand. 

The French gave it the name “Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World.” The statue was a depiction of a woman holding a torch in her raised right hand and a tablet in her left. Upon the tablet, the adoption date of the Declaration of Independence, i.e., July 4, 1776, is engraved. Also, the seven rays on her crown represent the seven continents and the shackles on feet symbolize oppression and dictatorship.

The completion and unveiling of the statue took over 21 years. On October 28, 1886, the at-the-time President of the United States, Grover Cleveland inaugurated the Statue of Liberty.

Later, in 1924, it was designated as a National Monument. 

Something for everyone

From hiking up to the crown, to ferry ride to Ellis Island for a history lesson, a visit to the Lady Liberty has a lot to offer to kids and elderly, likewise. Some of these places include: 

  • Fort Wood
  • Shearwater Classic Schooner Sail
  • Harbor Lights Cruise
  • Clipper City Tall Ship Sail

Places around the Statue

Once done with the tour of the main monument, there is a lot to explore around. Here are is a list of such places:

  • Ellis Island      
  • The National 9/11 Memorial
  • 9/11 Ground Zero Tour
  • Governors Island National Monument
  • Liberty Island
  • Liberty State Park
  • Museum of Jewish Heritage

Purchasing a ticket for a ferry ride is a must and includes access to Liberty Island and Ellis Island.

Best eateries around town

If sightseeing and history lessons were not enough, many food joints with a variety of food are available. Some of them are:

  • Statue of Liberty Crown Café
  • Liberty House Restaurant
  • Hometown Bar-B-Que
  • Razza Pizza Artigianale
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill
  • The Iroquois New York
  • Miramar
  • City Vineyard

So with this ready-to-go itinerary, you know what to do, the next time you are in New York.

Luis Alvarez and his contributions to Physics

More often than not, as a child, when you watched a movie with dinosaurs in it, you might have wondered what happened to those cool creatures.

Growing up, you might have come across articles and or even read in schoolbooks how the dinosaurs disappeared from the face of the earth. The theory, which states that the mass extinction of dinosaurs was because of an asteroid or comet colliding earth, is the most popular one of all the reasons.

Luis Walter Alvarez, an American experimental scientist, inventor, and professor, first put this theory forward. In 1968, he was awarded Nobel Prize in Physics for his outstanding contribution to elementary particle physics. He was named to be the most brilliant and productive experimental physicist of the 20th century by the American Journal of Physics. 

Early life and significant contribution to the field of physics

Luis Walter Alvarez was born in San Francisco, California, on the 13th of June 1911. His father Walter C Alvarez was a physician and his grandfather Luis F. Alvarez was a Spanish physician. Luis was the second child and oldest son to his father. He graduated with a B.Sc. degree in 1932 from the University of Chicago, M.Sc. degree in 1934 and a Ph.D. degree in 1936.  

In the early days of his scientific career, Luis Alvarez co-discovered the East-West effect in Cosmic Rays. He conducted experiments under the guidance of the faculty advisor Arthur Compton who himself was a winner of the 1927 Nobel Prize winner in Physics. He was awarded the Nobel prize for his discovery which states that electromagnetic radiation (like visible light) has particle-like properties.

List of Luis Alvarez’s contribution.

  • K-electron capture: Just after one year later got his Ph.D. degree, in 1937, Luis Alvarez delivered his first experiment, which demonstrated the existence of K-electron captured by nuclei. This theory states that one of many ways radioactive atoms can transform into new elements is by the capture of an orbiting electron by the core. The electron of the atom combines with a proton to form a neutron, the process makes the atom lose a proton, and it becomes a new element.
  • In 1939, Luis Alvarez with his fellow physicist Felix Bloch determined the measurement of the magnetic moment of a neutron, for the first time.
  • Alvarez also had the experience of working microwave radar research at MIT and helped in the development of many military applications using the radar. During 1944-45, he also participated in the development of an atomic bomb.
  • Apart from all these, Luis Alvarez has also participated in the development of microwave beacons, ground-controlled landing approach system, and linear radar antennas. He also developed a technique with which the airplanes could use radar to locate targets for aerial bombing during the World War.
  • Just before the World War, Alvarez, accompanied by fellow scientists, found out the radioactivity of 3H (Tritium) and how it was stable enough to be a constituent of ordinary helium.

Information Sources: https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/physics/1968/alvarez/biographical/

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Luis-Alvarez

In 1980, Luis Alvarez accompanied by his son Walter Alvarez (geologist by profession), nuclear chemists Frank Asaro and Helen Michel, claimed that they have uncovered about a calamity that shook the earth and was believed to be the reason of Dinosaurs’ extinction. In March 2010, a panel of 41 scientists backed the theory by providing how Chicxulub asteroid triggered the mass extinction.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luis_Walter_Alvarez#Dinosaur_extinction

Awards and medals for his notable works:

Apart from Nobel Prize in Physics, Luis Alvarez was awarded many other titles and honors in his lifetime, of which some are:

  • Collier Trophy of the National Aeronautics Association in 1946
  • Medal of Merit in 1947
  • California Scientist of the Year in 1960.
  • Albert Einstein Award in 1961
  • National Medal of Science in 1963.

With living a long 77 years, contributing many useful demonstrations and theories to Physics, he passed away on 1st September 1988. His legacy lives on with his contributions.  

The Rock That Saved Damsels in Distress

The Devils Tower National Monument or the infamous Bear Lodge Butte, established in 1906, is a laccolithic butte made up of igneous rocks.

Located in the northeast of Wyoming, the breathtaking rock tower stands tall with an elevation of 5,112ft above the sea level.

History

The geological feature is sacred to the tribes of native American-Indian, Kiowa Tribe, Lakota Tribe, and other indigenous people. As such, they hold many exciting tales and stories about its formation. One such tale is about a group of girls playing outside were spotted by a giant bear who chased them. To save themselves, the girls ran but stumbled and landed atop a rock. The damsels in distress prayed to the Great Spirit, who rescued them by elevating the stone to the heavens. Hence, the giant bears were stuck down with numerous failed attempts to climb the tower leaving behind the deep claw marks on its surface.

There are many other such tales the tribes have conjured and inherited from generation to generation. 

The science behind the scene

Just like the numerous tales, there are several different theories in science as well regarding the formation of the natural rock tower. While some geologists claim it to have formed by the igneous intrusion, others theorize it to be an eroded remaining of a laccolith.

The Present 

After being the starring backdrop in the famous movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” Devils Tower National Monument bagged a massive amount of popularity to its vanity. A lot of people visit the place every year to enjoy their vacation knowing more about the site. The increased tourism has even reformed the Devil’s Tower to help visitors have a fantastic experience to take back with them.

There’s fun in Lodge

The astounding tower set in the Black Hills is anything but unsafe for children. The various parks, animals, and natural sights are a treat to every child’s curious mind. 

The beautiful destination is a whole package of fun for any age group visiting the place. It renders many different events and activities to make the visit a memorable journey for the people.

  • Stargazing: Who doesn’t love the night sky? The fascinating starry night is one of the resources treasured in the Devils Tower. With darkness comes wonder- when the beautiful darkness envelope the place, the night sky shines is a different light that reflects from the deep objects. The ethereal sight is worth everything. The park entertains a lot of night sky events throughout the year for people to witness the magic the place holds.
  • Hiking: Devils Tower has got five hiking trails: Tower Trail, Joyner Ridge, South Side, Red Beds, and Valley View. All of them give away different perspectives and views of the site. While Tower trail is the most famous one, Joyner Ridge has the easiest route.
  • Climbing: The tower has got abundant climbing routes for all climbers out there to ascend the great Devils Tower. However, climbers need to register their names before the activity and have to abide by the rules and regulations for their safety purpose.
  • Camping: Belle Fourche River Campground is a 50-site campground located within Devils Tower is open from May to all way till October for people to camp around. The campsite is a first come first serve based site allowing no reservations.
  • Food: A chain of restaurants are scattered near the location and offer a variety of options as well. The facilities are easy to access and are available in abundance. 

With all that said about its rich history and exciting activities, the place is a must-visit on everyone’s bucket list.

Niagara: A Trinity of Falls

The name Niagara Falls is something most people have heard at least once in their life, being one of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls.

Of the three falls, Horseshoe, American, and Bridal Viel, the former is the largest and straddles the international border between the two nations, while the other two lie entirely in the States.

Niagara Falls State Park

Home to American, Bridal Viel, and a portion of Horseshoe or Canadian Falls, Niagra Falls State Park is a state park in the city of Niagara Falls in New York, USA. It is the oldest continuously-operating state park in the nation and offers views of several attractions to a visitor. They are:

  • American Falls
  • Bridal Veil Falls
  • American portions of Canadian Falls
  • Niagara Gorge
  • Cave of the Winds
  • Goat Island
  • Luna Island
  • Prospect Point Observation Tower
  • Three Sisters Island
  • IMAX Theatre

Brief History of Niagara Falls State Park

The purpose of the Niagara Falls State Park and its association is to preserve the magnificent tourist attraction from exploitation by individuals with vested interests. Before the protection was in effect, Niagara Falls was under the control of private interests, and the public couldn’t freely access it.

In the 1860s, however, landscape architect Fredrick Law Olmsted took the lead in advocating the preservation of Niagara Falls. In 1879, State surveyor James T Gardner along with Olmsted created a special report on the condition of the falls urging the state to buy lands, to increase public access to the region.

Their campaign culminated in the formation of the Niagara Falls Association in 1883 that aimed to lobby New York to protect and acquire the falls from private interests. The lobbying bore fruits in April 1883 when then-governor Grover Cleveland signed into law a bill authorizing the acquirement of some land in the Niagara Falls village for a state reservation. The act resulted in the establishment of the Niagara Reservation in 1885, which later came to be known as the Niagara State Park.

Attractions and Tours

The Niagara Falls State Park is open on all days throughout the year, and tourists can visit them at any month or season. Each season brings out a unique face of the falls, mesmerizing the crowd to no end. The Park is a place where both adults and kids can thoroughly enjoy due to its various attractions. However, getting the pass to visit them can be tricky owing to the number of people that tour the falls. Tourists can either get individual passes for each attraction or choose to buy a discovery pass that gives them discounted prices at all displays.

Tours like Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds are an option that tourists choose for they hold an appeal to any demographic.

The aquarium and adventure theatre along with fireworks and illumination are attractions that fascinate children and adults, alike. After dusk, the latter is a sight to behold, while the former opens the minds of kids and younger adults to the water animals and the legends of Niagara Falls.

Restaurants and Local Food Spots

The Niagara State Park, however, has more to offer to tourists. It is home to various gift shops situated near the drive-in restaurant, The Top of Falls and the entrance to the Cave of the Winds, where tourists can buy souvenirs. Aside from these, one can enjoy delicious food at cafes and grills spread across the Prospect Point and Cave of the Winds. Alternatively, they can go fine dining at the drive-in restaurant Top of the Falls.

With a horde of attractions and the lure of the trinity of falls, Niagara Falls State Park is the dream tourist place of globetrotters and seems to attract millions of people across the globe every year.

Banff National Park: Top Your To-Visit Places With Canada’s First National Park

Located in Alberta, Canada, Banff National Park is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the country.

Every year, around three million tourists visit the park. The little town of Banff is the only county in the park and is the center for all the activities. With breathtaking scenic views, this place offers its visitors opportunities for hiking, biking, skiing, and several other leisure activities. 

Unique sightings at Banff 

With the total area spread over 6,641 square kilometers, Banff National Park is filled with several breathtaking valleys, mountains, glaciers, forests, and rivers. 

Here is a list of the most interesting places in Banff:

  • Banff Park Museum
  • Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station
  • Tunnel Mountain
  • Mt. Norquay
  • After-Dark Lantern Tour
  • Lake Louise
  • Château Lake Louise
  • Moraine Lake
  • Lake Minnewanka

Brief History

Before Banff National Park was established, the area was considered a sacred place where medicines were gathered and healing procedures were done in the natural hot springs. 

The foundation of the town of Banff took place in the 1880s, specifically from tourism’s point-of-view. In 1883, during the Canadian Pacific Railway construction, three workers stumbled upon a series of natural hot springs and it led to what is now called Sulphur Mountain. 

Similarly, the Cave and Basin hot springs were also identified as a potential attraction for tourists. This pushed the Canadian government to create a reserve in 1885 to protect the springs and surrounding area, which, later on, was enlarged in 1887 and named the “Rocky Mountains Park of Canada”. Later on, it was renamed as Banff National Park, making it Canada’s first national park and the world’s third. Shortly afterward, an establishment was set up and a hotel was built, promoting the area as an international resort and spa.

The Banff National Park was included as the “Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks” by UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 for its “exceptional natural beauty” and “striking mountain landscape”.

Attractions for the younger crowd  

Since the park was established with the sole purpose of tourism, it facilitates people of all age groups, including the younger ones. With a good chance of seeing some of Canada’s wildlife, the Banff National Park is home to many black bears, elk, caribou, wolves, beavers, and grizzly bears making it a complete joy ride for the kids.

Below are some of the activities that are a must-try for the youngsters:

  • Bankhead Ghost Town
  • Fenland Trail
  • Banff Centre’s climbing wall
  • Sally Borden Fitness & Recreation Centre
  • Kingmik Dogsled Tours
  • Central Park Playground
  • Shaw Amphitheatre
  • Kids @ The Castle

Tour sites around Banff

Banff National Park is home to beautiful turquoise lakes mirroring the snow-covered peaks, along with glaciers and forests. Some of the most interesting places to visit in and around Banff are as follows:

  • Banff Park Museum
  • Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station
  • Moraine Lake
  • Fairmont Banff Springs
  • Sunshine Village
  • Lake Louise Ski Resort
  • Icefields Parkway
  • Bow Lake
  • Peyto Lake

Restaurants and local food spots

Every fall, the town of Banff holds the popular “The Banff Craft Beer Festival” for entire southern Alberta where some of the best craft beer is available. A huge upgrade from your average pub nights, this festival commemorates the birthplace of Canada’s national parks system. 

If that is not enough, this beautiful place also has some of the best eateries you’ve ever visited and have got a view to die for. To name a few:

  • The Bison Restaurant
  • Balkan Restaurant
  • Bear Street Tavern     
  • The Maple Leaf    
  • Tooloulous
  • The Old Spaghetti Factory
  • Samurai Sushi Bar & Restaurant
  • Ramen Arashi

Surely, you aren’t still undecided and fumbling around the web for places to visit this year? Top your to-visit places with Canada’s first national park and let the love in you for nature mate with the real nature at long last!

Welcome to the Magic City of Florida

Miami, an American city is a cultural, financial and economic hub of South Florida.

The city covers a distance of about 56 square miles between the Everglades to the west and Biscayne Bay to the east. Being an ideal holiday destination, it is a paradise of oceanfront cities, urban hubs, and charming villages.

Unique Attractions

Miami offers a one-spot vacation destination for every travel freak, with beaches, great weather, history, culture, sports, and entertainment. Downtown Miami, segregated from the Atlantic Ocean by the Biscayne Bay and Miami Beach, is a contemporary metropolis and cultural treasure trove. From the museums to the streets of Little Havana, you can always find an abundance of things to do. Outside the city, but nearby, is Everglades National Park, recognized for its unusual ecosystem and wildlife.

Brief History of Miami

The area was acknowledged as “Biscayne Bay Country” in the late 19th century. The city of Miami gets its name from Miami River, originated from the Mayaimi, the historic name of Lake Okeechobee and the Native Americans that lived around it. Thousands of years before Europeans arrived, a large portion of south-east Florida was occupied by Tequestas. In 1566, admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, Florida’s first governor, demanded the area for Spain. Consequently, the Miami area became a site of fighting in the Second Seminole War. It authoritatively became a city in 1896 after local businesswoman Julia Tuttle favored one railroad magnate to extend the area—making Miami the only principal U.S. city to be founded by a woman. 

Attractions for the Youth

This city is also popular for its white-sand beaches, neon-lit nightclubs, and world-class contemporary art galleries. You can come here for relaxing in year-round sunlight, partying to anything from techno to Cuban salsa and visiting top art exhibitions and Michelin-star restaurants. The Coral Castle and Miami Marine Stadium, located on Virginia Key, is just another of Miami’s unique architectural gems. 

Touring Destinations

The Art Deco District in Miami Beach is well thought of as one of the most captivating in the world for its nightclubs, beaches, historical buildings, and shopping. The Miami Open, the Winter Music Conference, Art Basel, the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Miami are such annual events which attract millions of people every year. Boating, sailing, and fishing are quite popular outdoor activities as the city is a home of numerous marinas, rivers, bays, canals and the Atlantic Ocean. Biscayne Bay has diverse coral reefs that make snorkeling and scuba diving popular. The city includes 80 parks and gardens. The most magnificent and attractive parks are Bayfront Park and Museum Park, Tropical ParkPeacock ParkVirginia Key, and Watson Island.

Other famous cultural attractions in or near Miami cover Zoo MiamiJungle Island, the Miami SeaquariumMonkey JungleCharles Deering EstateFairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, and Key Biscayne.

Cuisine

Magic City food is like none other because you’re receiving a trustworthy variety of Latin American and Caribbean foods. Most dishes incorporate lots of meat and sweet carbs. By combining the two with American cuisine, it has reproduced a unique South Florida style of cooking known as Floribbean cuisine. Extensively available throughout Miami and South Florida, it can also be found in restaurant chains such as Pollo Tropical.

Cuban sandwich, medianoche, Cuban espresso, and croquetas have grown in popularity among all Miamians and have become symbols of the city’s different cuisine. The Versailles restaurant in Little Havana is one of the remnant eateries of Miami. Miami is also known for its seafood, with many seafood establishments located along the Miami River, in and around Biscayne Bay. 

Bring your family or gang to experience the beaches and residential districts of metropolitan Miami. You’re assured to have fun in the sun.

Mount Wutai: A Seraphic Experience

Located amidst the crown of flat mountains is the sacred Buddhist site of Mount Wutai or better known as Wutaishan in Chinese.

A host to 53 monasteries, it holds few of the most important monasteries of China and is “First among the four great mountains” in China. It was made a UNESCO Heritage Site in 2009. 

Unique Attractions

Here are the must-visit places and unique attractions of Mount Wutai:

  • Xiantong Temple
  • Dailuo Ding
  • Taiyuan Temple and Shuxiang Temple
  • Nanchan Temple

Brief History

Mount Wutai was the first mountain to be identified as sacred and was done with the help of a passage located in Avatamsaka Sūtra signifying the home of many bodhisattvas. It is also home to a few of the oldest buildings in China, going back to the era of the Tang Dynasty. The main hall of Nanchan Temple and the East Hall of Foguang Temple are very old and standing strong, also serving as a major tourist attraction

The East Main Hall of Foguang Temple is adorned with life-sized clay sculptures representing ancient stories of Buddhism. The mountains and the temples go hand in hand, and so one cannot separate the two from the other. During the winters, the roofs covered with snow paths, lined by pine cones, willow trees, and firs turn the place surreal, so much so that it has been celebrated and cherished by Buddhist architecture. 

The spectacular layout residing in Mount Wutai is a complex amalgamation of Buddhist architectures, Nepal’s idea of sacred mountains and Mongolian excellence. It is a one-stop destination to witness the richness of different cultures across borders. 

Things to do at Mount Wutai and Touring Destinations

Situated amongst five different peaks, Mount Wutai serves as a perfect trekking trail for adventure lovers. The trek starts from Mount Wutai base-camp which is 60kms from the railway station. The trekking trail is of 55kms which is suggested to be completed in a clockwise manner by the Chinese tradition. 

  • Xiantong Temple:

Surrounded by the holy Mount Wutai, there are many temples in Taihuai Town, Xiantong Temple being the oldest. It was built in A.D. 68 and was the ancient temple for many royal families to come. To experience years of heritage, one must visit this temple. 

  • Dailuo Ding:

This one is a religious site and is considered to be one of the most visited tourist attractions. It’s a gem in the crown. It beholds five famous Ksitigarbha statues, aiding to religious pilgrims. The five mountains that surround this beautiful area are represented by these five statues. One can reach the top by various means

  • Taiyuan Temple and Shuxiang Temple:

Located close to Xiantong Temple are two other temples known for their religious temperaments.

  • Nanchan Temple:

On the way to Taiyuan, 177kms south from Mount Wutai,  Nanchan Temple is situated. It is home to the oldest timber architecture in China, beholds 70 bricks adorned with carvings, representing the rare art of the Tang Dynasty.

Food Attractions

Various small restaurants offer buffet breakfast for ¥10. For a cheaper meal, you can opt for ¥2 yóutiáo and ¥3 dòuhuā. Their famous fried noodles and soup are pretty good and reasonable at ¥10.  The regular rice dishes are ¥15-¥20 per serving. The local delicacy consists of a mushroom which comes in various options. For savoring the exquisite texture of mushrooms, it is suggested to eat at a restaurant that can cost up to ¥277. The monasteries also offer food free of cost to every pilgrim which is done according to certain rules. But be sure, the food is a must-try. 

To experience a holy spree with a surreal scenic view, visit Mount Wutai and get your soul refreshed. 

Rapa Nui: An Impervious Cultural Marvel

A unique, an unswayed land laid down by a society of Polynesian culture is home to huge eccentric stone sculptures known as moai.  Rapa Nui, better known as the Easter Island, in a Chilean island of southeastern Pacific Ocean houses this magnificent monumental enigma. 

Unique Attractions

Some of the must-visit places and unique attractions of Easter Island are as follows:

  • Orongo Ceremonial Village
  • Rano Raraku
  • Anakena Beach

Brief History

The Easter Island houses 1000 moai in an undisturbed area of wilderness. It is an extraordinary representation of the Polynesian culture. This area was colonized by a group of settlers from East Polynesia, manifested between the 11th and the 17th century. The sculptures erected in a scarce pattern are a portrayal of their ancestral families. It was awarded the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 and is considered one of the most important archeological sites, creating a mirror to societies that existed years ago. It is believed to have more than 300 ceremonial platforms, thousands of agricultural structures, funeral rites, few housing and production, and various other activities. 

The most striking of all the pieces are the moai ranging in height from 2-20m which were carved using simple yet powerful tools made up of yellow-brown lava tuff and hard basalt. The sculptures gamut the entire process carried out during the establishment of each of these moai. All of these are remarkably distinct with their raised rectangular platform filled with rubble and stones, a ramp paved with spherical beach pebbles and a leveled platform in front of all of these. Other valuable archeological structures are the caves filled with rock art. 

The colonization of Polynesian people is said to have been declined due to the gradual loss of natural resource availability during the 16th Century. This downturn led to the spiritual transformation and eventual destruction of these memorial monuments. The original ancient cult was replaced by a group of the bird-man cult that holds testimony to the ceremonial village at Rano Kau volcano. This cult could be seen around the 19th century, marked by the construction of 54 semi-subterranean stone houses with elliptical floor plans. 

Today, the descendants of ancient Rapa Nui dwell in the area along with some immigrants of sundry backgrounds.

Tourist Attractions for the Young and Old Alike 

  • Orongo Ceremonial Village:

Enriched by endemic species of organisms, the Orongo Ceremonial Village resides on floating totora reeds. The crater lake of Rano Kau sharply resembles a cauldron. From the edge of the crater, one can see the oceanic blue waters 300 meters below. It is one of the most substantial landscapes in the world. The visiting time is from 9:30 am-5:30 pm. 

  • Rano Raraku:

Experience the turning back of time into the times of Polynesian existence by visiting the Rano Raraku, which was the land raw material for building moai. It’s a dramatic display of structures in different stages of construction. 

  • Anakena Beach: 

A beach reflecting the exquisite landscape of the Chilean Island welcomes you to witness the seven moai adorned with topknots. Overlooking the Ahu Nau Nau stand the Ahu Ature Huki on the south side with its solitary moai. 

What and Where to eat in Rapa Nui?

To experience the palate tickling food of Easter Island, one must visit restaurants such as:

  • The Cuisine Offered: Seafood, Contemporary, Polynesian, Chilean, South American, International
  • Price: ₹₹ – ₹₹₹
  • Suggested Food: Ceviche, Fish, Jasmine Rice, Risotto
  • The Cuisine Offered: Fast Food
  • Price: ₹
  • Suggested Food: Empanadas, Seafood, Fries

This land was once inhabited by people completely unrendered by other parts of the world. Nobody is sure how these gigantic boulders were moved, or why they have got huge heads and a larger body. Come visit this land of mystery and find out for yourself.