Inspiring Flight: Wright Brothers National Memorial

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Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Today, we all take airplanes for granted. With relative ease and affordability, you can be anywhere in the world. Not within months but within hours. And we have two brothers from Ohio to thank for it. And thank is just what the Wright Brothers National Memorial does.

It honors the technological advancement with a museum and a massive granite tower. And visitors can experience this pivotal moment that forever changed how we live and travel with a visit to the very spot where the brothers left the ground — if only for a matter of seconds.

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Support & Save: Reciprocal Museum Membership

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The Philadelphia Museum of art offers reciprocal museum membership, where you can support the arts and save some money when you travel.

Whenever my husband and I travel, it is a foregone conclusion that we will go to the art museum(s) in the city. I like art. He likes art. It makes sense and we enjoy it immensely. And it is by way of our love of art museums that I have found a great way to save money visiting museums with a reciprocal museum membership. Art museums can be expensive despite being well worth the cost. With a reciprocal membership, we’re able to enjoy admission to museums across the country without opening our wallets. (Except to show our membership cards, that is.)

Not only that, but a museum membership is a great way to put your money where your mouth is and support your local museums!

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Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Glasgow Style Comes to USA

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Posters at Designing the New: Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style exhibit at Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

At the turn of the 20th century, Glasgow, Scotland was undergoing a change. The economic boom of the United Kingdom’s second most important city afforded them a chance to indulge in the arts. Designing the New: Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style is a new exhibition touring the United States that explores this innovative time in the city’s history.

The exhibit puts a focus on Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the movement’s most important contributor (and perhaps the city’s most well known). But there are also much deserved bright lights on Mackintosh’s colleagues. The exhibition is making the rounds and will be on display in the United States through 2021.

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Dover’s Air Mobility Command Museum

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Aircraft on display at the Air Mobility Command Museum in Dover, Delaware.

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.

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Post by . Originally published July 17, 2019. Last updated July 18, 2019.

Historic Dover Day Trip Delivers Charm Without Crowds

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Historic buildings line The Dover Green.

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!

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Post by . Originally published July 10, 2019. Last updated July 14, 2019.

5 of the Best Upper East Side Museums

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The New York City skyline and the Central Park Reservoir seen from the Upper East Side.

Because there are so many Upper East Side museums, a section of the New York City neighborhood is dubbed Museum Mile. Visitors to NYC are spoilt for choice. New York City is full of so many great things to see and do. But if museums are more your speed, you’ll want to head uptown. The stretch of Fifth Avenue between 82nd and 105th Streets, bordering Central Park, is home to some of the best museums in the city. In fact, they’re world-class museums. But the great museums on the Upper East Side aren’t limited to just Museum Mile! There are a few others outside of those hallowed blocks. Having a hard time deciding which museum to visit? Here are five great Upper East Side museums to prioritize the next time you’re in the Big Apple!

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Montreal for Art Lovers Travel Guide

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Leonard Cohen mural in Montreal, Canada.

The city of Montreal is rich in art, from world-class museums of fine art to the smallest architectural details. There are important artistic precedents, such as that Montreal is home to Canada’s first museum of contemporary art, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC). But one only has to walk the streets in order to enjoy art in Montreal. No entrance ticket, no admission fee is required. Green squares with statues, historic buildings with beautiful architecture, and seemingly plain walls turned into huge canvases covered in murals — this is only scratching the surface of art in Montreal. Yes, Montreal is a simply fantastic city for art lovers.

It isn’t just the visual arts that are so significant in Montreal. The performing arts are, too. Across the city, there are no short of performance halls, concert halls, theaters, and stages. Add to that festivals of all kinds, such as Montreal Jazz Festival and M for Montreal, that attract local and international talent around the year. I could go on forever. But, for brevity, let’s focus on the visual arts in this travel guide for art lovers in Montreal.

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Alexander Calder: Radical Inventor Impresses in Montreal

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Inside the Alexander Calder: Radical Inventor exhibit at Montreal Museum of Fine Art.

Montreal has had a special fondness for Alexander Calder since at least 1967 when he designed a massive metal sculpture called “Trois disques” (or “Man and His World”) for the city’s World Fair. Now through February 24, 2019, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is honoring the artist with Alexander Calder: Radical Inventor, a retrospective that highlights Calder’s unique works and showcases that he is much more than the mobiles he’s perhaps best known for. This rare exhibition is an insightful and striking display of Calder’s talent.

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Exploring the Riches of Munich’s Residenz Schatzkammer

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The crown of Bavarian kings from the Munich Residenz Schatzkammer.

If you thought the riches of Munich, Germany are to be found in a Biergarten then you haven’t yet visited the city’s Treasury or Schatzkammer. The city’s gold isn’t just in liquid form! Housed in downtown Munich within the walls of the massive Munich Residenz compound, you can find priceless items that belonged to the kings and queens of Bavaria. These artful objects range from incredible jewels to masterfully crafted pieces.

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Washington DC’s Freer|Sackler Galleries of Asian Art

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Indian art on display at the Freer|Sackler Galleries in Washington DC.

The Freer|Sackler, that is the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, is easy to miss along the imposing and impressive National Mall in Washington, DC. The galleries are surrounded by significant museums. Just across the way is the popular Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Castle. The Hirshhorn Museum and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum are also nearby neighbors. It’s easy to not notice the Freer|Sackler given all those “distractions,” not to mention its petite buildings, relatively speaking.

But the Freer|Sackler Galleries are home to an impressive collection of Asian art as well as works from the American aesthetic movement, northern Africa, and the Islamic world. What’s more, there’s never been a better time to visit the museum. The dual museums celebrated a reopening in October 2017 after the Freer Gallery of Art was closed for renovations that lasted nearly two years. I recently visited the galleries and to say that the museums house an extraordinary collection is an understatement.

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NYC’s Frick Collection is Mansion Turned Art Museum

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Inside the Frick Collection's Garden Court.

New York City is full of world class museums with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, arguably, casting the largest shadow. But if you’ve ever walked along 5th Avenue, the eastern border of Central Park, you’ve likely passed the Frick Collection and maybe didn’t even know it.

From the street, the building looks pretty much like any other in the quiet neighborhood. Well maintained, it’s set back from the street a little, surrounded by a modest formal garden. But inside the building on the corner of 5th Avenue and 70th Street is a substantial art collection that includes works by Rembrandt, Renoir, Whistler among many others!

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Post by . Originally published August 28, 2017. Last updated July 29, 2018.

Visiting President Buchanan’s Wheatland Estate

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Wheatland estate in Lancaster is the home of President James Buchanan.

To date, the state of Pennsylvania has only produced a single president. The 15th President of the United States, James Buchanan was originally from Cove Gap, in southcentral Pennsylvania just north of the Maryland border. But he settled in Lancaster which then served as the state capital. Wheatland was his longtime estate. Today it is a historic site worth visiting, less than two miles from the city center.

Historians would likely tell you that the one-term Buchanan is considered to be one of the worst presidents in US history. This is largely due to his failure to keep the country united. Seven states seceded from the Union under his leadership and shortly thereafter an all-out war broke out once Abraham Lincoln took office.

Regardless of your politics, Wheatland is a fascinating visit. Here you can learn the backstory and get an education on a man that, frankly, most average Americans known little of.

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