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Featuring North America’s Leading Travel Destinations

The Top North American Tour Destinations Lynchburg, VA: Warm Hospitality, Scenic Treasures Lincoln, More Than Nebraska’s Capital City The Ducks of Branson Vibrant Vancouver: Worth a Longer Visit The Foods of San Francisco


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Byways Magazine

ŠCopyright 2016 by Byways, Inc. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be duplicated in any form without express written permission of the publisher.

For more than 33 years, Byways has been covering the leading destinations along the highways and byways of North America. Some of the most well-known, and least known, destinations to discover in the United States and Canada.

Byways is published in three versions. They is the Turn-Key edition on the web for viewing on Computers, Android, iOS (iPhone and iPad). There is an Apple App Store edition. There is also a Byways Magazine Channel in Apple News. For advertising rates, editorial deadlines, or to place advertising insertions, contact: Byways Magazine 502-785-4875 http://bywaysmagazine.com

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PREVIEW By Steve Kirchner, Editor & Publisher

The spray hit a few us. Everybody cheered.” In Nebraska, Lincoln is now much more than the State Capital. Feel the energy of a city that has recently developed a new entertainment district, constructed an arena America. that brings the best performers in the country, and has Each year Byways surveys profestaken the farm-to-fork movement to another level on the sional tour operators through an on-line culinary front. The quality of life for residents and visisurvey to determine where their custors alike in Lincoln continues to be among the best in tomers will be traveling in the new year. The 2017 the United States. results are revealed beginning on Page 8. Our final stop in this issue is Canada’s British Keep in mind this is not a random survey, and the selections are based solely on the answers of those who Columbia. Pat Woods takes on a journey to Vancouver, surrounded by snow-capped green mountains, blue participated in the survey. waters of inlets and bays, and Also in this issue we visit a blessed with abundant rainnumber of destinations along fall. the highways and byways of Pat says Vancouver North America. deserves its “Beautiful City” We begin in Lynchburg, moniker, but it takes more Virginia, where we experience than a stopover on a cruise the hospitality and scenic treasship itinerary to understand ures amid the Blue ridge why. Mountains. Site of the 2010 Olympic Lynchburg grew prosperous Games, Canada’s thirdthrough its chief industries of largest city is a busy port tobacco, iron and steel, making with 227 ship calls bringing Lynchburg one of the wealthiest 800,000 passengers to this communities per capita in the cosmopolitan city each year. nation. If you have not visited Thomas Jefferson, who called Vancouver for several years, Lynchburg “the most interesting Pat says, go back. “This spot in the state,” liked the area stunning city keeps evolvso much, he built his retreat ing.” home, Poplar Forest, just down In What’s Happening, we the road. An alley mural in San Francisco. visit western Nebraska, a The Foods of San Francisco. part of the state that few Many of you may remember the television show, the would recognize as Nebraska. The buttes of the area are Streets of San Francisco. But there’s a new game in more reminiscent of South Dakota, and this is just one of town. Join Mary Charlebois and submerge yourself in the reasons to make the trip to this part of the state. one of San Francisco’s 27 diverse neighborhoods as you Another is Fort Robinson State Park, which was an eat your way through the city! active military post from 1874 to 1948. Today, Fort In his column, Traveling the Highways & Byways, Bill Robinson is considered western Nebraska’s premier Graves takes us to Branson, MO to ride the ducks. Ducks state park. Located west of Crawford, it offers more than are amphibious trucks. Born of necessity during World War II, they were designated “DUKWs” -- each letter 22,000 acres of exquisite Pine Ridge scenery, compelling Old West history, exceptional lodging, loads of stood for something in military parlance. More than 2000 of them were in the D-Day invasion at fun-time activities, scenic camping and the park’s own Normandy in 1944. Today they are used to drive tourists buffalo and longhorn herds. We hope you enjoy this issue of Byways. around Branson. And as Bill says, when they approached Table Rock Lake, “his duck plunged into the lake. A huge wave of water came over the windshield. elcome to Byways annual issue featuring the leading travel destinations in North

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Volume 33, Issue No. 6 2016

Features

On the cover. Downtown Lincoln is featured on the cover of this issue of Byways. For more on how Lincoln has become more than Nebraska’s State Capital see page 24.

The Top North American Tour Destinations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Lynchburg, Virginia: Warm Hospitality, Scenic Treasures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 The Foods of San Francisco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 The Ducks of Branson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Lincoln, More Than Nebraska’s Capital City. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Vibrant Vancouver: Worth a Longer Visit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Departments

Byways Instant Connect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Byways Preview. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Traveling the Highways & Byways with Bill Graves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Advertisers Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Free Byways Subscription . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

What’s Happening

Nebraska’s Historic Fort Robinson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Coming in future issues of Byways ..... Great American Railroads, Mountains & Valleys, Ocean Views, Rivers & Lakes and much more!

Next Up: Great American Railroads. Located on the Fox River in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the National Railroad Museum is the only officially sanctioned national railroad museum in the United States. Byways photo.

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The Top North American Tour Destinations 1. New York, NY

2. Washington, DC

3. Philadelphia, PA

4. Niagara Falls, NY & ON

5. Gettysburg, PA

6. Lancaster, PA

7. Branson, MO

8. Baltimore, MD

9. Chicago, IL

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10. Boston, MA

11. Cape Cod, MA

12. Atlantic City, NJ

13. Hershey, PA

14. Nashville, TN

15. Williamsburg, VA

16. Pigeon Forge, TN

17. Asheville, NC

18. Louisville, KY

New York City Slips Ahead of Washington as 2017’s Top Group Tour Destination

ew York City toppled Washington, DC as the top North American Tour destination for 2017, based on a national survey of professional tour operators conducted annually by Byways Magazine. Philadelphia jumped three slots to finish in third place, followed by Niagara Falls, NY & ON, Gettysburg, PA and Lancaster, PA. Branson came in seventh, with Baltimore, Chicago and Boston rounding out the Top 10. In the state rankings, New York State took the top ranking, followed by Pennsylvania, Virginia, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Tennessee. Nova Scotia was the top Canadian Province, jumping past Ontario, which finished second. Quebec, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick rounded out the top 5 listing. Hampton Inns again topped the Group Friendly Hotel category, followed by Holiday Inns/Holiday Inn 8 • Byways

Express, Drury Inns, Fairfield Inns and Best Western. In the Group Friendly Restaurant category, Cracker Barrel again finished first, followed by Buca de Beppo, Golden Corral, Landry’s Seafood Restaurants, and Ryan’s. Washington, DC’s Monuments again finished first in the Man-Made Attractions category. New York’s Broadway came in second, followed by the Statue of Liberty, the Smithsonian Institution and Dollywood. Finally, in the Natural Attractions category, Pennsylvania Dutch Country topped the list, followed by Niagara Falls, ON & NY, Cape Code, MA, and Mount Rushmore, SD. More than 2,000 professional tour operators are invited annually to participate in the electronic on-line survey. It is conducted annually in November and December, and the results are released at the beginning of the new year.


19. New Orleans, LA

20. Mackinaw Island, MI

21. Las Vegas, NV

22. San Francisco, CA

23. Charleston, SC

24. Virginia Beach, VA

25. Memphis, TN

26. Atlanta, GA

27. Myrtle Beach, SC

28. San Antonio, TX

29. St. Louis, MO

30. Orlando, FL

31. Newport, RI

32. Savannah, GA

33. Richmond, VA

New York’s Central Park. Photo courtesy Martin St-Amant.

39. Colorado Springs, CO

40. Denver, CO

41. Wheeling, WV

42. Rapid City, SD

43. Miami, FL

44. Cleveland, OH

45. Indianapolis, IN

46. Elkins, WV

47. Los Angeles, CA

48. Detroit, MI

49. Cincinnati, OH

50. Deadwood, SD Statue of Liberty. Photo courtesy William Warby

34. Albuquerque, NM

35. Hudson Valley, NY

36. Valley Forge, PA

37. Quebec City, QB

38. San Diego, CA

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Honorable Mention Alexandria, VA

The Belle of Louisville on the Ohio River in downtown Louisville. Photo courtesy GoToLouisville.com Monterrey, CA Montreal, QB

Annapolis, MD

Mystic, CT

Biloxi-Gulfport, MS

Oklahoma City, OK

Austin, TX

Boise, ID

Charlotte, NC

Chattanooga, TX

Dallas-Ft. Worth

Des Moines, IA

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Harpers Ferry, WV

Ocean City, MD

Omaha, NE

Ottawa, ON

Palm Springs, CA

Phoenix, AZ

Pittsburgh, PA

Portland, OR

Providence, RI

Kansas City, MO

Sacramento, CA

Lexington, KY

Santa Fe, NM

Laughlin, NV

Little Rock, AR

Milwaukee, WI

Mobile, AL

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Salt Lake City, UT

Seattle, WA

Tampa, FL

Toronto, ON

Tucson, AZ


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Panorama of Philadelphia skyline, as viewed from the South Street Bridge. Photo courtesy King of Hearts Gallery.

Top 30 States 1. New York

2. Pennsylvania

3. Virginia

4. Massachusetts 5. New Jersey

6. Tennessee

7. Missouri

8. Florida

9. Kentucky

10. Illinois

11. Maryland 12. Ohio

13. Connecticut

14. Louisiana

15. Georgia

16. South Carolina

17. Michigan

18. North Carolina 12 • Byways

19. Vermont

20. South Dakota

21. West Virginia

22. Indiana

23. Wisconsin

24. Alabama

25. Arizona

26. Maine

27. Minnesota

28. California

29. Nebraska 30. Texas

Top 5 Canadian Provinces 1. Nova Scotia

2. Ontario

3. Quebec

4. Prince Edward Island

5. New Brunswick


Top 10 Group Friendly Hotels

Top 10 Group Friendly Restaurants

2. Holiday Inns/Holiday Inn Express

2. Buca de Beppo

1. Hampton Inns

3. Drury Inns

4. Fairfield Inns

5. Best Western

6. Comfort Inns

7. Marriott

8. Hilton

9. Doubletree

10. Radisson

1. Cracker Barrel 3. Golden Corral

4. Landry’s Seafood Restaurants

5. Ryan’s

6. Bob Evans

7. Phillips Restaurants

8. Texas Roadhouse

9. Hard Rock Cafe 10. Applebee’s

Cleveland’s Terminal Tower looking at Lake Erie. Photo courtesy Lisa Chamberlain.

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View from Garden of the Gods Visitor’s Center in Colorado Springs looking toward Pikes Peak. Byways photo.

Top 15 Man-Made Attractions 1. Washington, DC Monuments

2. New York’s Broadway

3. Statue of Liberty

4. Smithsonian Institution

5. Dollywood

6. Grand Ole Opry

7. Baseball Hall of Fame

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota. 14 • Byways

8. Mall of America

9. Radio City Music Hall

10. Hershey Park

11. Elvis Presley’s Graceland

12. Henry Ford Museum

13. Universal Studios

14. Rock’n Roll Hall of Fame

15. Sea World Parks


Top 10 Natural Attractions

1. Pennsylvania Dutch Country

2. Niagara Falls, NY & ON

3. Cape Cod, MA

4. Mount Rushmore, SD

5. Black Hills, SD

6. Yellowstone National Park, WY & MT

7. Glacier National Park, MT

8. Grand Canyon

9. The Poconos, PA

10. Yosemite National Park, CA

ideo V r o f k Clic The Henry Ford Museum. Byways photo.

Amish buggy climbs a hill in Lancaster, PA.

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Lynchburg, Virginia: Warm Hospitality, Scenic Treasures

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Mid-summer skiing at Liberty University’s SnowFlex Centre. With an innovatively engineered synthetic material, anyone can now enjoy year-round skiing, snowboarding and tubing! Photo courtesy Lynchburg Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau. Byways • 17


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Point of Honor historic home. Photos courtesy Lynchburg Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau.

mid the Blue Ridge Mountains and along the James River, Lynchburg, Virginia has always been a place for trend setters and innovators. The city was named for John Lynch who started a ferry service to cross the James River. Lynchburg grew prosperous through its chief industries of tobacco, iron and steel, making Lynchburg one of the wealthiest communities per capita in the nation several times throughout its history. This affluence fueled construction of extraordinary residences and structures giving downtown an array of iconic 19th and 20th century buildings in a wide variety of architectural styles, many of which still stand today, and seven historic districts of grand Victorian homes. In the last decade, this Hill City has undergone an exciting downtown renaissance, with many of its historic structures being renewed into unique residences, eclectic restaurants, trendy shops, and enticing attractions creating a lively urban scene accented with cultural amenities including galleries, performing arts theatres and music venues. The newly created Lower Bluffwalk sits high above the Riverfront Park event space, hosting wine, art and music festivals during warmer months, and offers the perfect place to stroll and view the rolling James River and Blue Ridge Mountains backdrop. Warm hospitality and engaging sites are what make Lynchburg a great place to visit. Taking a climb up the 139 steps of Monument Terrace leading to the 18 • Byways

Young girls enjoy Amazement Square Children’s Museum.


Lynchburg Museum housed in the Old Court House, will not only keep you in shape, but offer an amazing view of downtown. A visit to Point of Honor, the Federal style mansion and historic residence of Dr. George Cabell, personal physician to Patrick Henry, will take you back to how life was lived and medical procedures administered in the early 1800s. Yes, visiting a cemetery does not sound very exciting, but a stroll through the well-storied Old City Cemetery, Museums & Arboretum will change anyone’s mind quickly. The property is one of the most beautiful places in the city with antique roses, goats, museums and over 2,000 Confederate graves on the property, plus they make their own Honey to Die For! Kids will burn off excess energy at Lynchburg’s National Medal winning Amazement Square Children’s Museum where adults are encouraged to “play” too! With handson learning galleries, four story playground and couch that eats potatoes! The home of Lynchburg’s most famous poet, Anne Spencer, is not to miss, full of whimsy and character. Both the garden and home teem with the eclectic charm of this Civil Rights icon. And everyone needs a little restorative recreation. Rent a bike or take a hike on Lynchburg’s most unique urban hiking/biking trail systems meandering through-

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park near Lynchburg.

out the city and along the James River and its tributaries or enjoy some midsummer skiing at Liberty University’s SnowFlex Centre. With an innovatively engineered synthetic material, anyone can now enjoy yearround skiing, snowboarding and tubing! Get out and explore Lynchburg’s regional treasures! Take a scenic drive Historic Homes on RT 501 North to Big Island and enter the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the most visited National Parks in the country, at Mile Post 63.7. There you will find wooded hiking trails, magical waterfalls and heavenly views. Thomas Jefferson, who called Lynchburg “the most interesting spot in the state,” liked the area so much, he built his retreat home, Poplar Forest, just down the road

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in Forest, Virginia. This National Landmark and World Heritage Site candidate tells the story of one of the most important figures in American history. The town of Bedford, Virginia is a 30-minute drive west of Lynchburg, where visitors pay homage to those who sacrificed their lives for their country at the National D-Day Memorial honoring the Allied forces that participated in the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 during World War II. LOVE biking on the With its stylized English urban trail in Lynchburg. Garden, haunting invasion tableau, and striking Victory Plaza, the Memorial stands as a powerful permanent tribute to the valor, fidelity, and sacrifice of D-Day participants. The Memorial is encompassed by the names of the 4,413 Allied soldiers who died in the invasion, the most complete list of its kind anywhere in the world. And at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park and the Museum of the Confederacy, explore the place and the memories of where America’s Civil War came to a close. Lynchburg is for locavores! A slogan the foodie community takes very seriously in Lynchburg with independent restaurants striving to source their dishes from local farms when possible. The Food Truck scene has Foodie city

Beachhead memorial at National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, near Lynchburg. 20 • Byways


.Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest.

grown rapidly with Food Truck Thursdays in Miller Park during the warmer months of April through October, but these innovative restaurants on wheels can be found in many places daily throughout the city. Lynchburg restauranteurs are also accommodating when it comes to dietary needs with something for everyone including vegetarians, vegans, gluten free diners and farm-to-table connoisseurs. For the full palate experience, take a scenic drive in any direction and you will find many wineries, breweries and meaderies in the surrounding Lynchburg area. Adventurers in the potable

arts will enjoy a diverse and eclectic selection of beverages for tasting. Lynchburg is accessible via Amtrak on both the North East Regional and Crescent lines and has its own regional airport with flights arriving daily or hop a motorcoach for a little comradery and someone else doing the driving. Visit www.LynchburgVirginia.org to learn more about the attractions mentioned, find out what’s happening on the Events Calendar or find a shop or restaurant for an enjoyable time in this most vibrant city!

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The Foods of San Francisco Only 3-Hours in San Francisco? Eat a Neighborhood! By Mary Charlebois

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An Edible Excursions tour group on its way to the next restaurant. Photos courtesy Mary Charlebois. ood is the key to knowing any city. Submerge yourself in one of San Francisco’s 27 diverse neighborhoods and eat your way through. In three hours, you will learn about food, history, culture, politics and residents. Try Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Vietnamese, Chinese, even forage city parks for common wild foods, medicinal plants and edible flowers. Tours are also organized around beer, wine, cocktails or cycling and food. Food tours offer something for all tastes and interests. Exploding worldwide, San Francisco is a leader with tours curated by foodies, chefs, farmers and food producers. They share extensive knowledge of a neighborhood’s food, drink, history, culture and residents. The Bay Area’s tours have been acclaimed by Fodor’s and Travel and Leisure. In a Japantown food tour, we ate Tonkotsu Ramen and learned about the 40-hour porkbroth that gives the dish the deeply umami flavor. We visited a Japanese sweet shop that 22 • Byways

has been operated by the same family in Japantown since 1906. Their Mochi is sweet, beautiful and addictive. A neighborhood market and deli served us sushi and salads made with fresh organic ingredients on-sight, that day. This family-owned shop was filled with Japanese food and beverage. I could have browsed for hours. We had Japanese Pizza, Sweet Potato Latte, Curry (the Japanese love it) and much more. Lessons in history, cooking, cul-

Great Eastern Dim Sum


Crabs are a San Francisco favorite.

ture and art came along with the tour. It was one of the best three hours I’ve spent anywhere. I relished getting to know my fellow tour guests. Chatting about their food customs and preferences from home was enlightening. My top choice for a food tour is award-winning Edible Excursions. They curate and lead tours to San Francisco

neighborhoods and other Bay Area communities. You aren’t tasting a sample while standing. Each stop has reserved seating and full-sized servings. No one leaves hungry. You’re face-to-face with those producing the food you eat. They share their passion, culture, history, and some-

A tour group experiencing the food at San Francisco’s Ferry Building.

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Mochi display in Japantown. Photos courtesy Mary Charlebois.

Edible Excursions Tour Group.

times, secrets. Your expert Epicurean Concierge adds to the experience with history and anecdotes. Edible Excursions is always adding new and special occasion tours. Here are some of their standards: San Francisco -- Craft Chocolate in the Mission District, Craft Cocktails in Downtown San Francisco, Ferry Building Food Tour, Farmer’s Market and Ferry Building, Japantown, Mission 18th Street, Mission 24th Street. Oakland -- Temescal Neighborhood Tastes, Uptown Food and Drink. Berkeley -- Gourmet Ghetto Excursion. Special tours for children are offered periodically. Check their website - http://edibleexcursions.net for tour times, days and pricing. San Francisco neighborhoods covered by a food tour: Chinatown, Dogpatch, Fillmore, Hayes Valley, Japantown, Little Italy, Little Saigon, Mission, North Beach, Russian Hill, Tendernob, with new areas being 24 • Byways

added frequently. Bay Area tours: Berkeley, Marin County, Napa, Napa Valley, Oakland, Petaluma Farm Tour, Sausalito. Food or beverage specific tours: Bike and Food, Cheese, Chocolate, Craft Beer, Craft Cocktails, Cupcakes, Oysters, Pizza, Sweets, Vegetarian, Wine. A search engine hunt for “San Francisco food tours” will yield lots of choices. Each has something just a bit different. Some are focused on a neighborhood or type of food. There are daytime and night tours. Others are beverage oriented; try craft cocktails, beer, sake, and of course, wine. Most are walking tours and last around 3hours. Prices range from no-cost self-guided, to $125. Join a San Francisco food tour and eat a neighborhood. It’s the best meal you’ll ever have.

A San Francisco Farmers Market.

About the Author: Mary Charlebois, also known as MaryGo, is a freelance writer, photographer, and videographer. Her daily beat is Mendocino County and San Francisco. She lives in Fort Bragg, Mendocino County, California. Mary is a Journalist member of ITWPA. See her work at https://wheremarygos.com.


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Traveling the Highways & Byways with Bill Graves

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The Ducks of Branson

arry Boggs, nicknamed “Boggy,” was in the sign business in Wichita, Kansas, most of his life. He retired from that, moved to Branson eleven years ago, and is now, at age 73, a duck driver. Ducks are amphibious trucks. Born of necessity during World War II, they were designated “DUKWs” -- each letter stood for something in military parlance. Its six wheels, lined up in tandem, are all drive wheels. They were used in amphibious landings in the Pacific and the Mediterranean. More than 2000 of them were in the D-Day invasion at Normandy in 1944. Some were even around to serve in Korea in the 1950s. Advances in how we fight wars, however, left the ducks in the dust decades ago. But folks in Branson dug them up, dusted them off, and now Larry spends his days driving tourists around in one. I joined him for a ride. To get on board, combat troops used ladders; we used steps.

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It amounts to getting into a boat when it’s on dry land, which is not the way we usually do it. Larry clipped on a microphone and we headed out onto the street. Were it not for the life preservers strapped to the ceiling, we could have been in a tour bus.

Passing one of the three Walmarts here, Larry told us that he has a friend who wants to be buried in the Walmart The Ducks of Branson. Photos courtesy Bill Graves.


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parking lot. “Being there,” Larry said, “he knows that his kids will visit him a couple times a week.” Everybody with a microphone in Branson is a comedian. It goes with the territory. Entertainment is what this town is about. Larry said that there are 69,000 theater seats in Branson. “Some theaters have three shows a day. Tickets average about 35 bucks,” Larry said. “People tell me that show tickets go for two and three times that in Vegas.” Live entertainment is probably the only thing Branson has in common with Las Vegas. There, casino gambling is the focus. The shows are just one of the ways to get the gamblers in the door and at the tables. Here the shows are the focus. Branson has no casinos. Larry drove up a “mountain” where all sorts of World War II vehicles are displayed. We stopped to look down on Table Rock Lake. The marina and RV Park were right below us. Larry has a motorhome and said they used to go to that campground, but he now has a house on the lake. “In the winter,” he said, “we become winter Texans and stay at a campground on South Padre Island.” Back on the flatlands, Larry pulled up to a road that leads into the lake. He gave us a safety briefing required by the Coast Guard. Then he slipped a CD into the play28 • Byways

Table Rock Lake, the marina and RV Park. Photos courtesy Bill Graves.

er, pumped up the volume, gunned the engine, and with the booming of the “William Tell Overture” -- it sounded like the Long Ranger was behind us, guns blazing -he plunged the duck into the lake. A huge wave of water came over the windshield. The spray hit a few us, and everybody cheered. He does this all day long. “I’ve got the best job in Branson,” he says. We chugged around the lake for awhile. He offered


the driver’s seat to the kids on board. Each one took the helm for minute or so. Back on the road, Larry put on more music as we approached the end of the ride, Dolly Parton singing America the Beautiful, which is undoubtedly the song heard most often in the theaters of Branson. It's that kind of a place.

About the author: After seeing much of the world as a career naval officer, Bill Graves decided, after he retired, to take a closer look at the United States. He has been roaming the country for 20 years, much of it in a motorhome with his dog Rusty. He lives in Rancho Palos Verdes, California and is the author of On the Back Roads, Discovering Small Towns. of America. He can be reached at Roadscribe@aol.com.

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e r o M , n l o c s ’ n a Li k s a r b e N y t n i a C l Th a t i Cap

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The interior of the Nebraska State Capitol. Photos courtesy Lincoln Convention & Visitors Bureau.


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incoln, Nebraska has evolved from its reputation as a college-town and state capital to a city thriving with an emerging music scene and world class facilities. One feels the energy of a city that has recently developed a new entertainment district, constructed an arena that brings the best performers in the country, and has taken the farm-to-fork movement to another level on the culinary front. The quality of life for residents and visitors alike in Lincoln continues to be among the best in the United States with low unemployment, low crime, and affordability like no other. Regardless if you are looking for the excitement of a city or the calming effect of the countryside, Lincoln has something for everyone. The commitment to make Lincoln a great place is not only the responsibility of the city government but is reflected in the investment from the private sector on many of the enhancements over the past five years. Nearly $750,000,000 in public and private projects in the downtown area has led to new public spaces and parks, as well as public art and new businesses designed to provide endless opportunities to those in the city. Among these projects is The Railyard, an entertainment district built in the Historic Haymarket District of downtown, adjacent to the newly constructed Pinnacle Bank Arena. The Railyard is the home to thirteen restaurants, bars, and clubs, wrapping around an open courtyard that looks upon a massive digital display screen called The Cube. This screen, measuring 14 feet by 50

feet on one side and 14 feet by 14 feet on the other, displays digital art for the public to enjoy, as well as sporting events, movies and so much more. Lincoln’s music scene continues to impress everyone. Lincoln Calling, a multi-day music festival focusing on emerging artists across multiple venues in the downtown area, features over 140 different performers across the spectrum of music mediums. This festival was the signature event of a week-long experience called LNK-DNA that featured events for entrepreneurs, young professionals, and art lovers. The other 51 weeks a year offers musical performances that can be found at Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lied Center for the Performing Arts, Rococo Theatre, Pinewood Bowl (an outdoor amphitheater) or one of the many music clubs and bars featuring live entertainment. The quality of the museums, attractions, and art galleries in Lincoln rivals those of the largest cities in the Midwest. The Sheldon Museum of Art features one of the best publicly owned collections of 21st contemporary art. Motorsport and automobile enthusiasts continue to flock to the Museum of America Speed, a 135,000 square foot museum dedicated to preserving and interpreting items significant to racing and automotive history. Many jokingly say that Lincoln has a museum for everything and in part, that is true with museums dedicated to telephones (Frank Woods Telephone Museum), roller skating (National Museum of Roller Skating), museums of historical significance (American Historical

Lincoln’s Historic Haymarket District

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Society of Germans From Russia), just to name a few. Baseball is America’s national pastime and there is When you need to catch your breath and simply enjoy no shortage of it in Lincoln. The Lincoln Saltdogs, a your surroundings, Lincoln is the place to be with more member of the American Association of Independent parkland per capita than any other city in the United Professional Baseball is entering its 17th season at States. Lincoln currently has 125 parks and 131 miles of Haymarket Park. trails just inside city limits. Pioneers Park Nature During winter months, don’t miss out on attending a Center features 668 acres of tallgrass prairies, wood- Lincoln Stars hockey game. This USHL team plays lands, wetlands and animals including bison, elk and at The Ice Box, voted one of the top five places to see white-tailed deer. a Jr. Hockey game in North America. To the southwest of Lincoln is Spring Creek Prairie Lincoln has also played host to some of the best Audubon Center, an 850 acre native tallgrass prairie amateur competitions in the country including the preserve that offers miles of walking trails, woodland 2010 USA National Games for Special Olympics, the habitats and trail ruts from the Nebraska City-Fort 2015 State Games of America, 2016 NORCECA Kearny Cutoff of the Oregon Trail. Women’s Olympic Volleyball Qualifier, and in 2017 For those interested in attending sporting events, will host the USA Wrestling World Trials. Lincoln has many for you to pick from. The Nebraska This has barely scratched the surface of everything Cornhusker collegiate programs play in some of the top there is to do in Lincoln. For a complete listing of sports facilities in the country including Memorial attractions, events, restaurants, and all things Lincoln Stadium where the football team holds the NCAA record visit www.lincoln.org. for consecutive sellouts dating back to 1962. 32 • Byways


Lincoln Celebrates Nebraska’s Sesquicentennial Nebraskans across the state will be participating in a year-long celebration as the state celebrates its 150th birthday. Nebraska was granted statehood on March 1, 1867 and on January 1, 2017 the year-long party will commence. As the Capital City, Lincoln will be hosting the big birthday celebration. On March 1st the Statehood Ceremony will take place at the Nebraska State Capitol. The event will include reenactors portraying Ponca Chief Standing Bear, author Willa Cather and western showman Buffalo Bill Cody. The second major event that will take place in Lincoln is “Salute to the Good Life” on September 22nd. This celebration will take place outside of the State Capitol and extend seven blocks north down Centennial Mall. The event will commemorate Nebraska’s history and culture featuring a parade, fireworks, music, art and more.

Pinnacle Bank Arena

Lincoln Is the Place to Be To Experience Complete Solar Eclipse For the first time since 1979, a total solar eclipse visible in the United States will occur. Lincoln is right in the path of the eclipse and will experience one minute and twenty-four seconds of viewing time. Together with community partners, the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau is planning a variety of events on August 21, 2017. Haymarket Park, the home of the Lincoln Saltdogs Baseball team, will provide spectacular viewing points, interactive events, as well as indoor and outdoor talks and presentations. Eclipse glasses will be available and will make for a great souvenir from this memorable event. In addition to these events, planning is underway for observatories across Lincoln and Lancaster County to host activities.

Union Plaza Park Byways • 33


Vibrant Vancouver: Worth a Longer Visit By Pat Woods

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The Golden Princess docked at Canada Place cruise terminal, viewed from the Vancouver Lookout. Photo courtesy Pat Woods. Byways • 35


S

Locals and visitors walk, jog, bike and skate on the famous Stanley Park seawall. Photos courtesy Pat Woods.

Place ship terminal, Stanley Park and a forest of downtown buildings from the 550-foot tower. www.vancouverlookout.com Next we walked to bustling Canada Place to experience FlyOver Canada. After a short wait we were strapped into seats for an exhilarating 8-minute 4-dimensional simulated ride over incredibly gorgeous Canada scenery. With our feet dangling in space, the gentle ride seemed real as we glided over massive waterfalls, towering skyscrapers, sprawling vineyards and snow-covered peaks. Adding to the thrill of flying above the scenery, a gentle mist arose from the waterfalls. Those beautiful scenes evoked memories of previous Canada trips, and I cried happy tears. On a 1-10 scale, I rate Flyover Canada a 25. www.FlyOverCanada.com Our planned third activity was riding the Skyride gondola to Grouse Mountain, a favorite place for locals and tourists to hike, dine or explore attractions in an Alpine setting. Grouse Mountain is very popular on sunny What to see and do From the Fairmont, we walked to Vancouver Lookout spring weekends. Because the complimentary shuttle in the Harbour Centre building. On this clear sunny day bus broke down, we took SeaBus across Burrard Inlet, we could see Coal Harbor, the giant sails on Canada then a city bus to the Skyride’s base. www.grousemountain.com 36 • Byways urrounded by snow-capped green mountains, blue waters of inlets and bays, and blessed with abundant rainfall, Vancouver deserves its “Beautiful city” moniker. Site of the 2010 Olympic Games, Canada’s third-largest city is a busy port with 227 ship calls bringing 800,000 passengers to this cosmopolitan city each year. Like many other visitors, husband Rob and I had previously spent only a few hours in Vancouver pre- or postcruise. This time was different. Following a Princess cruise and before boarding a Rocky Mountaineer train, we had two delightful days to discover Vancouver’s beauty and diversity. When our Princess cruise ship disembarked at Canada Place at 8am, we immediately took a cab to the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Not only was our Gold floor room ready when we arrived, but Diana, a helpful concierge, already had a custom map with attractions marked for us.


On our second day we boarded a Vancouver Trolley hop on/hop off bus. www.vancouvertrolley.com. In beautiful Stanley Park, we stopped at the Vancouver Aquarium where we studied numerous fish species, watched a 4-D movie about prehistoric sea monsters and lingered at the penguin and beluga whale exhibits. www.vanaqua.org In the afternoon we visited the rooftop herb garden and bee hives at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. As we looked down at the water, we inhaled the fragrant scent of rosemary, basil, strawberries and other plants. We were surprised to see grapes growing for B.C. wines. The gentle bees never bothered us as they went about their business of pollinating plants and producing honey. In addition to managing the bee program, from May through September, Michael King, the hotel’s “Bee Butler” conducts free daily tours of the 2,400-squarefoot rooftop garden and honeybee apiary. www.fairmont.com/waterfront-vancouver On a previous Vancouver visit we took a ferry and bus from downtown to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park which is a five-minute drive from Grouse Mountain. In this beautiful rain forest, seven swaying suspension bridges at tree top level cross a deep scenic gorge. This family park is great fun for the sure footed, but may be a

Part of the waterfront as seen from the 550-foot Vancouver Lookout. This beautiful city is surrounded by snowy peaks.

The Skyride gondola whisks guests to the top of Grouse Mountain for Alpine adventures.

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challenge for those with mobility or balance issues. www.capbridge.com Other popular Vancouver attractions include Beaty Biodiversity, Vancouver Maritime and Police museums, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, plus numerous other museums, art galleries and gardens. Visitors can ride a horse-drawn carriage through Stanley Park, rent bicycles or pricey sports cars, take a seaplane ride, tour a brewery, explore the McMillan Space Centre or snap photos at the Stanley Park totem forest. Shoppers could spend an entire day on Granville Island and grab lunch at the Public Market. Upscale shopping downtown is found at Pacific Centre. Robson Street beckons shoppers with trendy boutiques, book and jewelry stores. Friendly merchants welcome shoppers in malls and dozens of museum and hotel gift shops. Want more active options? Snorkel with seals on a Sea Dragon charter. Do a Zodiac tour with Sea Vancouver. Try stand-up paddle boarding with Ecomarine. Or walk, jog, cycle or skate on the 28 km Stanley Park seawall. Besides being a very walkable city, Vancouver has abundant land and water public transit options that make it possible to go from downtown to skiing down a mountain in 30 minutes.

If you go Vancouver’s food and beverage scene is as diverse as its population. Options range from familiar fast food outlets in food courts to high-end restaurants with celebrity chefs throughout the greater metro area. Many eateries and watering holes serve B.C. wines We met friends at the ARC Restaurant in the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, where we enjoyed our best-ever seafood dinner. Attached to Canada Place, this cool hotel harvested 600 pounds of honey produced by 500,000 gentle resident honeybees. The bees forage 26 square miles to produce honey from 26 plant species. The hotel uses the honey in cocktails, desserts, salad dressing and their signature Fairmont ‘Stinger’ Lager. 38 • Byways

Where to stay Fairmont Hotels operates three downtown Vancouver locations. All three are within walking distance of each other, and each is distinctively different. The Fairmont

The 500,000 gentle honey bees on the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel rooftop produced 600 pounds of honey last year. Photo courtesy Pat Woods. A small section of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver’s Gold floor breakfast buffet. Photo courtesy Pat Woods.


Vancouver skyline. Photo courtesy Tourism Vancouver and Albert Normandin. Hotel Vancouver honors its railroad roots; Fairmont Waterfront is connected to Canada Place cruise ship terminal; the Fairmont Pacific Rim is new and edgy. www.Fairmont.com Our stay on the Gold floor of Fairmont Vancouver Hotel was a joy with a daily deluxe European breakfast, concierge service, daytime snacks, free Wi-Fi and local calls, delicious evening hors’ d’oeuvres and cookies. After a long day sightseeing, the large indoor pool and spa soothed tired feet. The new lobby Notch8 restaurant & bar is an attractive, contemporary place to relax after a busy day. The term “Top notch” is derived from Notch8, the highest speed on a train. If you have not visited Vancouver for several years, go back. This stunning city keeps evolving. Learn more at www.tourismvancouver.com

About the Author: Pat Woods is a widely published Arizona-based travel writer. Pat enjoys visiting and writing about Canadian destinations. Byways • 39


The buttes overlooking Fort Robinson in Northwest Nebraska are more reminiscent of South Dakota. Byways photo. 40 • Byways


g n i n e p p a H s ’ t a Wh

Nebraska’s Historic Fort Robinson Byways • 41


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The Fort Robinson History Center is located in the Post Headquarters. Byways photos.

A historic plaque marks the site of his death. isitors to the northwestern panhandle of In January 1879, Chief Morning Star (also known as Nebraska are often surprised to realize they are still in Nebraska. The buttes of the area are more Dull Knife) led the Northern Cheyenne in an outbreak reminiscent of South Dakota, and this is just one of the from the Agency. Because the Cheyenne had refused to reasons to make the trip to this part of the state. Another is Fort Robinson State Park, which was an active military post from 1874 to 1948. It was established to protect the Red Cloud Agency and was the location of the Cheyenne Outbreak and the assassination of Crazy Horse. The Red Cloud Agency was established in 1873 to distribute government goods to Indians camped in the vicinity. Today, Fort Robinson is considered Western Nebraska’s premier state park. Located west of Crawford, it offers more than 22,000 acres of exquisite Pine Ridge scenery, compelling Old West history, exceptional lodging, loads of fun-time activities, scenic camping and the park’s own buffalo and longhorn herds. Fort Robinson played a major role in the Sioux Wars from 1876 to 1890. The Battle of Warbonnet Creek took place nearby in July 1876. Crazy Horse surrendered here with his band on May 6, 1877. On September 5 that year, he was fatally wounded while resisting imprisonment. Byways • 42


return to Indian Territory, where they believed conditions were too adverse for them to survive, the army had been holding them without adequate food, water or heat during the severe winter to try to force them into submission. Soldiers hunted down the escapees, killing men, women, and children in the Fort Robinson massacre. The U.S. Supreme Court called the “shocking story, one of the most melancholy of Indian tragedies”. The event marked the end of the Sioux and Cheyenne Wars in Nebraska. The present facility includes many original buildings of the fort (though as many as twothirds were demolished after the fort was decommissioned), including Officers’ Quarters around two sides of the 1887 Parade Ground. Cabins in the 1874, 1887, and 1909 quarters can be rented for overnight accommodations. Other original buildings include stables still used for stabling horses. There are generous RV campgrounds, including the newest with 60-foot spaces. The Park Lodge is located in the historic Enlisted Men’s Barracks and includes rooms and a full-service restaurant. There are lots of activities for visitors, including horseback riding, a breakfast cookout four mornings each week, a buffalo stew cookout four evenings each week,

Red Cloud Buttes at Fort Robinson.

and a steak cookout at the base of the buttes three evenings. Also on the property is the Fort Robinson Museum in the 1905 Post Headquarters, operated by the Nebraska Historical Society. The Trailside Museum in a separate building interprets the geological and natural history of the Pine Ridge area. For more information on Fort Robinson State Park: http://www.stateparks.com/fort_robinson.html

The stables at Fort Robinson 43 • Byways


Byways is published bi-monthly by Byways, Inc. and distributed electronically throughout North America. Byways is emailed to more than 4000 tour operators /Travel Trade through the Internet. Subscriptions are complimentary. An iPad & iPhone version is available for consumers in iTunes in the App Store. An Android browser version is available at www.issuu.com/byways. Byways’ distribution includes motorcoach companies, tour operators, selected travel agents, bank travel managers, school band and athletic planners, meeting planners and the travel trade. For advertising rates, editorial deadlines, or to place advertising insertions, contact: Byways Magazine at 502-785-4875. ©Copyright 2016 by Byways, Inc. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be duplicated in any form without express written permission of the publisher. Editor and Publisher Stephen M. Kirchner

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Advertisers Index Bedford Tourism & Welcome Center, Virginia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

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Mystic Seaport, Connecticut . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

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Top Tour Destinations of 2017  

Annual ranking of North America's Top Tour Destinations. Plus Lynchburg, VA, Foods of San Francisco, Lincoln, NE, the Ducks of Branson, and...

Top Tour Destinations of 2017  

Annual ranking of North America's Top Tour Destinations. Plus Lynchburg, VA, Foods of San Francisco, Lincoln, NE, the Ducks of Branson, and...

Profile for byways