Family travel 5: Explore places that blend history, nature, culture | Nation - freetxp

Family travel 5: Explore places that blend history, nature, culture | Nation

Visit a National Heritage Area, specially designated places where historic, cultural and natural resources combine to form nationally important landscapes. There are currently 55 areas within the US where communities have collaborated to share their resources.

Here are five to consider:

Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area

Visitors to this region find a compelling mix of old traditions, including historic fiestas, Pueblo feast days and religious ceremonies, as well as folk and culinary arts all anchored by a strong connection to the land. To conserve and protect this cultural wealth, Congress designated more than 10,000 square miles of northern New Mexico as the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area (NRGNHA). The area includes Taos, Rio Arriba and Santa Fe counties. Eight pueblos (Taos, Picuris, Ohkay Owingeh, Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, Nambe, Pojoaque, and Tesuque) and the Jicarilla Apache Nation are sustained within the Heritage Area.

Throughout the region explorers can visit artist’s studios, pursue outdoor sports, sample unique cuisine, and delve into the region’s history amid extraordinary natural beauty.

Find out more: https://riograndenha.org/index.html

Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Area

In 1984, this region became the first National Heritage Area when President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a “new kind of national park” with a focus on preservation, conservation, recreation, and economic development. Today, the area serves as an outdoor museum where visitors can explore the diverse stories of this living landscape, walking in the footsteps of Native Americans, French Explorers and Voyagers, canal workers and immigrants. Modern visitors can take a mule-pulled canal boat ride, hike or bike along the canal historic towns along the way, explore state parks, fish on Maple Lake or kayak on the Illinois River.

Find out more: https://iandmcanal.org

Silos & Smokestacks, Iowa

Promising Midwestern hospitality, this region encourages travelers to explore the state via suggested travel loops that include picnic spots, quaint restaurants, museums, galleries and landscapes. Learn about Iowa’s agricultural history and its influence on our food system. Wander the backroads amid corn and soybean fields to discover unique and unexpected places of historical, cultural and natural significance.

Visit Dubuque, Iowa’s oldest city, to find out how lead mining, a gentleman’s farm and the mighty Mississippi River are all connected.

Find out more: https://www.silosandsmokestacks.org/explore/ag-adventure/

Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area

This region endeavors to provide a comprehensive view and share the powerful stories that emerged from the Civil War era, including the freedom of emancipation and the enduring legacies of reconstruction. Consider following the Tennessee Civil War Trail where visitors can follow in the footsteps of the generals, soldiers, citizens and the enslaved during a challenging time in our nation’s history. The program includes more than 400 markers across the state, offering information and programs that illuminate the great campaigns as well as lesser-known points of historical interest.

Find out more: www.civilwartrails.org/about.html ; http://www.tncivilwar.org

Great Basin National Heritage Area, Nevada and Utah

Visit this western region for a mix of history, wide open spaces, uncrowded trails and unobstructed views of the Milky Way when you camp under the stars.

Learn about the bristlecone pine, our planet’s oldest tree, which can live to be 5,000 years old. You’ll find them in Great Basin National Park. Sign up to be an engineer at the Nevada Northern Railway Museum where their historic steam trains run throughout the year. Or stop by the Old Capitol Arts and Living History Festival in Fillmore, Utah, to learn about broom-making and blacksmithing, shop for handmade crafts, and enjoy live music.

Find out more: www.greatbasinheritage.org

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Resource: You will find a list of all 55 National Heritage Areas here: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/heritageareas/visit_nhas_online.htm

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