January 2020

Past To Present In Jefferson City

By |2020-03-13T06:57:19-06:00January 10th, 2020|Daytrips, Guides, Jefferson City, Midwest, Missouri|

To think that we have lived within a short three-hour drive of Missouri's capital, yet it has taken us so long to visit. When we realized this oversight, we reached out to Visit Jefferson City, to arrange a day of exploration. Wanting to get a better understanding of the history of the city, from past to present in Jefferson City, we planned a day filled with unique stops. We have learned that local tourism bureau's websites are one of the best resources for building a solid itinerary. Even if you like to just wing it, having a basic knowledge of a city's sites [...]

December 2019

Walking The Block At The Missouri State Penitentiary

By |2019-12-27T07:56:05-06:00December 27th, 2019|Jefferson City, Midwest, Missouri|

Tours are a good way to get some background information at new destinations. While we will usually rely on our exploration, this doesn't mean we are against guided excursions. Some places are limited to this type of visit, and we happily join in the group fun. This was the case when we stopped at the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City. With a good selection of options, we chose the 2-hour history tour. Our turn for walking the block would introduce us to one of the most notorious penitentiaries in America. It would give us a chance to hear a wide range of [...]

The Grand Cafe – A Peek Behind The Curtain

By |2019-12-18T04:54:47-06:00December 20th, 2019|Jefferson City, Midwest, Missouri|

Visiting a new destination brings so many fun surprises. All of the sightseeing can work up quite an appetite. Fortunately, almost every downtown has an assortment of locally-owned eateries to choose from. Jefferson City is no exception, and we were filled with anticipation to take a peek behind the curtain at The Grand Cafe. When we spotted this restaurant, we immediately loved the look of charm and elegance. The curtained entryway exuded an aura of suspense, which drew us in for a look-see.   We want to thank Visit Jefferson City and The Grand Cafe for their hospitality. Rest assured that all opinions are [...]

Sizing Up Some History – Missouri State Museum

By |2019-12-16T20:33:51-06:00December 13th, 2019|Jefferson City, Kansas City Vicinity, Midwest, Missouri|

Whenever we visit a state capital, we try to include a stop at the state museum, as well. While each city and town will usually show a local perspective, these state-sponsored destinations have an overarching view. The unusual thing about the Missouri State Museum is that it resides inside of the capitol building. Since we had already determined that we would see this historic dome from the inside, now we could tackle two stops in one. Once we cleared the security checkpoint, we were prepared for sizing up some history in the "Show Me" state. As we approached the capital, we noticed that [...]

Sampling The BBQ Scene – Sweet Smoke BBQ

By |2019-12-15T17:23:54-06:00December 6th, 2019|Jefferson City, Midwest, Missouri|

Exploring Jefferson City would never be complete without sampling a couple of downtown restaurants. While they have a variety of cuisines to select from, sampling the BBQ scene is often a priority for us. Fortunately, we found an option sitting within easy walking distance from the capital building. After a day of exploring, we were looking for a meal that would fill us up, before our drive home. Earlier in our visit, we had spent some time strolling through the area, and had caught sight of Sweet Smoke BBQ. Seeing the satisfied faces of lunchtime diners had us anticipating our turn. As dusk [...]

November 2019

Storied History At Jefferson Landing

By |2019-12-16T20:41:12-06:00November 29th, 2019|Jefferson City, Kansas City Vicinity, Midwest, Missouri|

On August 10, 1821 Missouri officially became a state. At that time the capital was in St. Charles, but plans for a new state capital were in the works. From what we could ascertain, Jefferson City was the only place specifically created to serve as the capital of a state. After the Missouri state legislature commissioned the new capital in 1821, it was ready for occupancy in 1826. Many in the state of Missouri did not like the new location and worked to get the capital changed. Our visit to Jefferson City would help us gain a better understanding of the storied history [...]

Discover Dubuque – Iowa’s First City

By |2019-12-17T05:02:09-06:00November 6th, 2019|Destinations, Dubuque, Guides, Iowa, Midwest|

To gain a true history of Dubuque, you have to go all the way back to the 1700s. The first European settler arrived in the region in 1785. Julien Dubuque had received permission from Spain to mine the lead-rich deposits in and around the bluffs of the Mississippi River. The ownership of the territory would change hands after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. In 1837, more than two decades after Dubuque's death, the city would be officially chartered and named after the original pioneer. Having a chance to discover Dubuque attractions, eateries, and sights was an opportunity we were not going to pass [...]

October 2019

Industrial Chic – Inspire Cafe

By |2019-12-17T05:08:36-06:00October 30th, 2019|Dubuque, Iowa, Midwest|

Staying in the downtown districts of cities we visit offers us plenty of chances to explore. Each destination has its own flavor and character. Often, we find nearby neighborhoods that are within walking distance but offer a completely different taste of the city. This was certainly the case in Dubuque, Iowa. Just a few blocks from our stomping ground, we located the Millwork District. Made up of just over a dozen square blocks, this historic section is teeming with local life.  Breakfast at Inspire Cafe would give us an opportunity to mingle with some of the locals while enjoying the industrial-chic design.   We [...]

Nature’s Highways – National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

By |2020-01-24T07:45:00-06:00October 23rd, 2019|Dubuque, Iowa, Midwest|

There were certain attractions that were "must-sees" during our visit to Dubuque, Iowa. Being Iowa's first city, it is no surprise that there is a river nearby. Of course, this isn't just any river. Visiting the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium promised to be an adventure on a grand scale. After all, it's the largest river in North America, and this museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute. We booked three hours to explore the exhibits designed around nature's highways and knew that we would be pushed to the limit to see it all in detail.  We want to thank Travel [...]

Family Tradition At Vinny Vanucchi’s Little Italy

By |2019-12-17T05:20:42-06:00October 16th, 2019|Dubuque, Iowa, Midwest|

When we are developing an itinerary for a new destination, picking our dining locations is especially important. I got my blogging start by hosting a local restaurant site for five years. When we expanded to our travel blog, it was important that we maintained our roots. Fortunately, locating interesting restaurants is usually easy. When I started researching downtown Dubuque, I found that there were way too many eateries for us to visit. This meant that we had to select a handful that would offer a broad example of what can be found in Iowa's oldest city. When we learned about Vinny Vanucchi's Little [...]

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