While the tradition of the Maypole isn’t unique to Germany, the Bavarians seem especially fond of what they call the Maibaum. Across the southern German state, you’ll find wooden poles in the region’s trademark white and blue shooting up into the sky. They’re in small villages, big cities, and popular destinations like farmers’ markets and your favorite Biergarten.
But how do these giant landmarks get there? While some towns embrace modern technology and use a crane, others are still doing it the old fashioned way with manpower. In the town of Aying, just outside of Munich, the local Burschenverein (a local men’s club) hoist the Maibaum by hand — and it takes the whole day!
There is no doubt about it: Germans know how to party! And Munich beer festivals are famous for a reason. Roughly six months before Oktoberfest and only weeks after the winter beer festival of Starkbierfest, revelers head to the famous Theresienwiese for the Munich Frühlingsfest, or Munich spring festival. Like Oktoberfest, Frühlingsfest features the raucous beer tents, carnival rides, games, and dozens of food options. There are even a number of great events that are a part of the festival, including the opening parade with free beer, Bavaria‘s largest flea market, and a classic car show. Spring has sprung and there’s no shortage of fun things to do at Munich Frühlingsfest!
Anyone who thinks museums are full of dusty, static exhibits has not yet been to the Air Mobility Command Museum in Dover, Delaware. The museum‘s collection of nearly three dozen aircraft is impressive enough for gearheads, but it’s the true stories of these planes that really move you emotionally. A visit to the Air Mobility Command Museum should be at the top of your list of things to do in Dover, Delaware.
During my recent day trip to Historic Dover, I made a visit to the Air Mobility Command Museum with my husband. The museum’s Operations Manager, Mike, gave us an incredible tour, rich with facts and history. While I thought the visit to the museum was more for him, I came away just as affected by the planes on display. These aren’t merely exhibits, these are true pieces of history.
While doubledecker sightseeing buses full of tourists clog the downtown city streets of Philadelphia and Boston, historic Dover, Delaware, is remarkably quiet. The capital of The First State is only an hour from Philly and features many of the same important highlights: historic buildings, cobblestone streets, and no shortage of stories that reveal just how important the petite state really is in the nation’s founding. I recently was invited for a day trip to Dover with my husband. And even for a Friday in June, we practically had the city to ourselves!
These days, river cruises are all the rage and a Danube River cruise is, perhaps, one of the most popular. But for a magical day trip, visitors can take a river cruise to Kloster Weltenburg, the oldest monastic brewery in the world, from Kelheim, Germany. Although brief, the cruise takes travelers through the Danube Gorge (or Donaudurchbruch), a stunning nature reserve lined with remarkable rock formations, to the tip of a peninsula where the famous Weltenburg Abbey offers solace and award-winning beer.
Visitors to Germany, and the southern state of Bavaria, in particular, could easily spend months seeing all of the beer breweries that cover the picturesque landscape. But Klosterbrauerei Andechs is special. Less than an hour outside of Munich, Kloster Andechs sits on a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside of small towns, farms and, to the west, a lake. The brewery is still run by the monks of the Benedictine abbey. While the brewery exports Andechs beer around the world, you can try it for yourself by visiting Kloster Andechs. And while you could easily drive or take the bus to reach the monastery, Andechs is a popular pilgrimage — that is, you can reach Andechs on foot from nearby Herrsching. I only had to experience it once. Now the hike to Andechs is a favorite Munich day trip!
Alexandria, Virginia, at less than a half-hour’s drive from Washington, DC, is a breath of fresh air. The city boasts a historic old town that charms with buildings dating as far back as the colonial era. Add to that its setting along the Potomac River waterfront, its easy walkability, and the fact that this small town is dog-friendly. Alexandria makes for the perfect spot for families or couples looking to relax, recharge, and set their own pace. I recently headed to Alexandria with my husband and George, our miniature schnauzer, for a weekend visit to take in the sights and the sounds of this popular Southern small town.
Many visitors to Washington, DC will stick to the National Mall and the area around it. They’ll gaze up at the national monuments, maybe visit one of the Smithsonian museums, peer through the fence at the White House, and, if it’s springtime, soak in the delicate cherry blossoms. But only a quick walk from the National Mall and Tidal Basin is the District Wharf, or Wharf DC as it is also known. A recent revitalization project has put new life into the Washington waterfront. Escape the urban jungle for the Washington, DC wharf!