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Trip List by joannabee

What do Kentucky, Ohio, NY and Pennsylvania Have in Common?

16 May 2007  I am on a mission to spend some real time in every one of the 50 states
2.5 of 5 stars based on 1 vote

How much have you seen of this great country? Drive this loop beginning and ending in NY to see 8 great cities!

  • Category: Recent trip
  • Traveler type: Sightseeing
  • Appeals to: Couples/romantics, Singles, Families with teenagers, Seniors, Students, Budget travellers , Tourists
  • Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall
  • 1. Corning, NY

    I left Long Island on a Wednesday morning with my first planned stop Corning, NY. I have wanted to go for many years but while a bit distant for a day trip it was the perfect place to spend a few hours and stretch my legs, grab a bite and refresh the mind. The main attraction here is the Corning Museum of Glass, a beautiful architecturally distinguished complex with a good cafe and coffee shop, great gift shop and amazing exhibits and collections. Look for the delicate glass "cage cup" (dating unbelievably from the 4th century AD); the micro-mosaic of the Basilica of San Marco (so detailed you will swear it is an oil painting); astounding cut-glass decorative wares and modern art glass and sculpture by premiere artists of the 20th and 21st century.

  • 2. Cleveland - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

    I arrived in Cleveland about 8pm and checked into the Sheraton Independence Hotel (starwoodhotels.com) - a very nice hotel with stylish rooms, a lovely lobby and great indoor pool conveniently located a short 15 minute drive from downtown. The next morning I was off to explore the main reason I came here - the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Don't ask me why I had to come - it just seems like something a middle class American girl raised in the 50's-60's-70's should see! It is an impressive building right on the lake on the more wide-open end of town,, next to the football stadium. It has easy access and cheap parking right across the street. The museum is very well planned and the ticket vendors are friendly and informative. You start downstairs with a theater presentation and some popular permanent collections. There are 5 floors of displays, a rockin' gift shop and nice cafe with outdoor seating, weather permitting. When you are done here you will have a mile wide smile on your face while singing, whistling or at the very least humming! Run to the gift shop and buy those cd's!

  • 3. Cleveland Indians at Jacob's Field

    If the weather is really nice I recommend you stay in town after your rockin' rollin' experience and take in an evening game at "The Jake". It's over on the other side of town and the gates open an hour or 2 before game time. Hop in and have a nice sausage sandwich and a cool one from the Batter's Eye Bar, enjoy the late afternoon sun at a cafe table in the Market Pavilion, stroll through Heritage Park then take your seat and enjoy a a great evening at the ballpark. I planned to visit 4 of the newer major league ballparks on this trip and I liked the Jake best. Tickets are cheap and good seats pretty easy to come by.

  • 4. Next Stop Cincinnati and the Art Museum

    About 3 hours from Cleveland is Ohio's "Queen City" Cincinnati. You can take in another ballgame here at the carnival-like Great American Ballpark (use "mlb" link above and choose Cincinnati on the team sites drop down on the left) or take a walking tour of the city. I did the former and spent the rest of my time at the world-class Cincinnati Art Museum. One of the nice things about this museum is its location - atop the mount in Eden Park in the desirable Mount Adams neighborhood. The slow winding drive to the museum gives you a great overview of this charming area. The museum has a small but diverse collection with many important artists represented. The art is displayed in elegantly appointed galleries and the overall feel of the museum reminds one of the famous Met in NYC. Make the effort to see the newly opened 3rd floor displaying contemporary works in a loft-like, sky-lit wrap-around gallery.

  • 5. Head South to Kentucky

    Click on the link above to find out more than you ever wanted to know about Kentucky. The idea of the Derby got us here but this tourism website gave us plenty of other reasons to stay awhile. My plan was to head from Cincinnati southeasterly for my first taste of the bluegrass state. Along the way you can visit the beautiful and peaceful Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill to learn, stroll, shop and eat; tour one of the state's many renowned Bourbon distilleries such as Buffalo Trace or Maker's Mark; visit the state capitol of Frankfort's public buildings, floral clock, Rebecca Ruth candy shop. I spent the night in Bowling Green so that I could visit the ultimate cave attraction Mammoth Cave National Park. Part of the exceptional US National Parks Service, Mammoth offers many different tours ranging from a modest hour to 4 or more for experienced spelunkers. Health and physical condition are a consideration but I thought the New Entrance tour was suitable for most people. We saw many of the more unique spaces in the 300+ mile cave system, climbed down hundreds of steps and climbed back up mostly short stretches of a few steps and ramps to exit the side of the mountain. Cool in the summer and warm in the winter this year-round attraction provides a fun and informative adventure.

  • 6. Louisville

    After Mammoth I headed Lexington to set up home base for the next 5 days. About an hour's drive from Lexington is Kentucky's best-known city, Louisville. Like any city there are a lot of things to do here - science, art and cultural museums, shopping, universities, gardens, historic sites etc. My first choice in Louisville was The Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. The short factory tour is actually informative, the exhibits are well-done and nostalgic and the souvenir shop is well-outfitted but there are 2 things that make it really worth the visit. #1: ever wonder what it feels like to be a hitter and stand in the path of a major-league fastball? There is an exhibit here that allows you to stand in the umpire's position (behind protective plexiglass), choose a pitcher and watch a film of him - in my case Roger Clemens - as he winds up and throws, while a baseball is pitched from within the screen toward you - at 90mph! Amazing! #2: I loved the giant bat in front of the museum - you won't believe how much fun it is to stand in its impressive shadow as it towers 60 feet overhead!

  • 7. Kentucky Crafts

    Another easy day-trip from Lexington is the craft-centric town of Berea, Kentucky. Built around the Kentucky School of Craft the charming center of town offers many craft shops and galleries, an historic hotel and the college campus. Closer to the highway is the Kentucky Artisan Center representing many diverse crafters in a retail setting. Finally there seems to be a more recent effort to bring business to the "Old Town" where artisans have gathered to open their studios to the public - and offer their wares for sale.

  • 8. Pittsburgh

    This city may not be what you think. I came here a last fall to watch the Mets play the Bucs and to visit the kind-of-famous PPG building. I ended up seeing a lot of Pittsburgh and really started to like it. Far from the dirty backwater I thought it was, much of this city - at the junction of three rivers - is beautiful, modern, urbane and fun! The center of Pittsburgh kind of sprawls across the rivers and over the bridges but is still quite easy to navigate. A few of my favorite don't misses are: the Andy Warhol Museum, PNC Park (home of the baseball Pirates) and Heinz Field (football's Steelers) all 3 in what they call "Northside", north of the Allegheny River; the Strip District (wholesale food purveyors). Lidia's (celebrity chef's Lidia Bastianich's excellent authentic Italian bistro) and the luxurious Westin Hotel at the Convention Center all near Downtown on the peninsula between the Allegheny and the Monongahela; the quaint Duquesne incline (for a great view of the rivers' convergence) and "Just Ducky Tours" (duck-boats travel by land and by sea) on Southside, south of the Monongahela. Just outside of town The Carnegie Museums and Phipps Conservatory are worth a full day or 2. Farther afield but not to be missed is Frank Lloyd Wright's masterful "Fallingwater". This landmark building and its environs are maintained today by the Western Pennsylvania Conservatory (www.paconserve.org) as a nature preserve (guided tours only of the home, open access to the grounds).

  • 9. The Brandywine River Valley

    With an 8-hour drive from Pittsburgh to New York I chose to limit my drive time and make one last stop. My choice, straddling the Delaware-Pennsylvania border, was the Brandywine Valley. There is much to do in this elegant part of the country.You can spend the afternoon admiring the Wyeths at The Brandywine River Museum, exploring historic New Castle Delaware or at the DuPont estate/museum Winterthur. Stay the night in one of the many gracious bed and breakfast inns or the Sheraton Suites Wilmington over the Delaware border. A very nice day can be spent at Longwood Gardens: see the conservatory, the DuPont family home, formal gardens, fountain and firework spectaculars, perennial and annual displays, meadows and woodlands and stop for a lovely high-tea in the cafe. Take in one last ballgame at the 2-year old Citizen Bank Park in Philly and top it all off with a cheesesteak before embarking on the easy 2-hour drive home.