Category Archives: USA

NASA – Kennedy Space Center – Florida

The wonder of exploring the universe and space flight is something that never fails to intrigue everyone. You can guarantee that no matter what age or gender this statement is true, and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is about the closest most of us can get to exploring space travel.

Museums, exhibits, tours and thrill rides are all part of a visit and you are even offered the chance to have lunch with an Astronaut.

The Main Visitor Complex:  This is where you will arrive, park up and purchase your tickets if you’ve not already got them. Upon entering the complex you will find various attractions including, the Astronaut Hall of Fame, the Rocket Garden which is a collection of past space rockets of all shapes and sizes, IMAX theater offering amazing 3D shows and Space Shuttle Atlantis the ride, a launch simulation which is a must do attraction. This main complex is also where you will be able to board a bus for your included tour which will take you out to see some amazing close up sights and a stop off at the Apollo/Saturn V Center. Whilst at the main complex you will also be able to experience many dinning options and shop for souvenirs in the vast shop.

Apollo/Saturn V Building: Only accessible by taking the included tour, the building is really the main and largest exhibition of the whole complex and you should allow a decent amount of time to see all it has to offer. Home to an amazing array of exhibits including a full size Saturn rocket, Moon buggy, Apollo capsules and hundreds more genuine space exploration artifacts.

The Saturn center is also jam packed with interactive exhibits and experiences which are an absolute must especially the launch control simulation. Whilst at the center try and find time to speak to the staff, you will find that many of them are retired engineers from the space programs and have a vast wealth of knowledge to share.

The NASA Visitor Complex included tour: The most basic of tours offered but still a must, if you fail to take this trip you will miss the main exhibits offered at various stops along the route.

The tour starts off by exiting the main Visitor Complex, going though the security gates and entering the main NASA site. From here you will take a slow drive passing the Vehicle assembly building and onto the Saturn Building. You will leave the bus at this point and spend as much time as you wish exploring the exhibits and once your finished, you can re board one of the frequent buses at your leisure for the return trip. Whilst on the tour bus you will be show information videos and the drivers will point out all sort of interesting things including the wildlife. Look out for rockets which may be standing on the launch pads. SpaceX currently use the original Shuttle pads and these are often view able whilst on the bus.

Dinning and shopping at the Kennedy Space Center: The complex offers a selection of snack bars within both the main visitor area and the Saturn building as well a few restaurants. The opportunity to dine with an astronaut is also offered but this must generally be booked in advance. The are several areas where souvenirs can be purchased but the main offering is the large shop close to the entrance where you can buy everything from space food, clothing, memorabilia and souvenirs to take away with you.

Optional Tours, Extras and Events at the Kennedy Space Center:

Whilst at the Visitor Complex there is often the opportunity to take extended tours which will get you even closer to things such as the launch pads and the Vehicle Assembly Building. Tickets can also be brought for upcoming events such as viewing areas for Rocket launches, dinning opportunities and other special events.

Obviously, this is a working and operational complex and tour offering, extended tours and events are always subject to change.

Getting to the Kennedy NASA Visitor Complex:

Located west of Titusville across the Indian River the Visitor complex is accessed by crossing the NASA causway on the NASA Parkway. Only 10 minutes off the I95.

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Tanger Outlet Locations

Tanger Outlets is one of North Americas largest designer outlet shopping village chains. With locations all over the USA and a few in Canada.

Many locations have over 100 stores representing some of the biggest names in global fashion, home wares and sporting goods. Prices are often up-to 70% off regular retail price.
Retailers include, Ralph Lauren Polo, Gap, Nike Factory Store, Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY and 100s more.
Tanger Outlets runs it own rewards club based on spend and is free to join. Along with rewards for spend you will receive regular exclusive offers and events only available to Tanger Club members. Find out more details on the Tanger Club Site Here.

USA Tanger Outlet Locations:

Alabama: Foley

2601 S McKenzie Street
Foley,
AL 36535

Arizona: Pheonix Glendale

6800 N. 95th Avenue
Glendale,
AZ 85305

Connecticut: Foxwoods

455 Trolley Line Boulevard
Mashantucket,
CT 06338

Connecticut: Westbrook

314 Flat Rock Place
Westbrook,
CT 06498

Delaware: Rehoboth Beach

36470 Seaside Outlet Drive
Rehoboth Beach,
DE 19971

Florida: Daytona Beach

1100 Cornerstone Blvd.
Daytona Beach,
FL 32117

Georgia: Commerce

800 Steven B Tanger Blvd
Commerce,
GA 30529

Georgia: Locust Grove

1000 Tanger Drive
Locust Grove,
GA 30248

Georgia: Savannah

200 Tanger Outlet Blvd
Pooler,
GA 31322

Iowa: WIlliamsburg

150 Tanger Drive
Williamsburg,
IA 52361

Louisiana: Gonzales

2410 Tanger Boulevard
Gonzales,
LA 70737

Maryland: National Harbor/Washington DC

6800 Oxon Hill Road
National Harbor,
MD 20745

Maryland: Ocean City

12741 Ocean Gateway
Ocean City,
MD 21842

Michigan: Grand Rapids

350 84th Street SW
Byron Center,
MI 49315

Michigan: Howell

1475 N Burkhart Road
Howell,
MI 48855

Mississippi: Southhaven

5205 Airways Blvd.
Southaven,
MS 38671

Missouri: Branson

300 Tanger Boulevard
Branson,
MO 65616

New Hampshire: Tilton

120 Laconia Road
Tilton,
NH 03276

New Jersey: Atlantic City

2014 Baltic Avenue
Atlantic City,
NJ 08401

New York: Deer Park

152 The Arches Circle
Deer Park,
NY 11729

New York: Riverhead

200 Tanger Mall Drive
Riverhead,
NY 11901

North Carolina: Blowing Rock

278 Shoppes on the Parkway Road
Blowing Rock,
NC 28605

North Carolina: Mebane

4000 Arrowhead Blvd.
Mebane,
NC 27302

North Carolina: Nags Head

7100 S Croatan Highway
Nags Head,
NC 27959

Ohio: Columbus

400 South Wilson Rd.
Sunbury,
OH 43074

Ohio: Jeffersonville

8000 Factory Shops Boulevard
Jeffersonville,
OH 43128

Pennsylvania: Hershey

46 Outlet Square
Hershey,
PA 17033

Pennsylvania: Lancaster

311 Stanley K. Tanger Blvd
Lancaster,
PA 17602-1467

Pennsylvania: PittsBurgh

I-79, Exit 41 Race Track Rd
Washington,
PA 15301

South Carolina: Charleston

4840 Tanger Outlet Blvd.
N. Charleston,
SC 29418

South Carolina: Hilton Head

1414 Fording Island Rd.
Bluffton,
SC 29910

South Carolina: Myrtle Beach Hwy 17

10835 Kings Road
Myrtle Beach,
SC 29572

South Carolina: Myrtle Beach Hwy 501

4635 Factory Stores Blvd
Myrtle Beach,
SC 29579

Tennessee: Sevierville

1645 Parkway, Suite 960
Sevierville,
TN 37862

Texas: Houston

5885 Gulf Freeway
Texas City,
TX 77591

Texas: San Marcos

4015 I-35 South
San Marcos,
TX 78666

Texas: Terrell

301 Tanger Drive
Terrell,
TX 75160

Utah: Park City

6699 North Landmark Dr.
Park City,
UT 84098

Canadian Tanger Outlet Locations:

Ontario: Cookstown

3311 Simcoe Road 89
Cookstown,
ON L0L 1L0

Ontario: Ottawa

8555 Campeau Drive
Ottawa,
ON K2T 0K5

Quebec: Bromont

109 boulevard le Carrefour
Bromont,
QC J2L 3L1

Quebec: Saint-Sauveur

100 Avenue Guindon
Saint-Sauveur,
QC J0R 1R6

All information is correct at time of publishing and is subject to change. Please visit the Tanger Outlet website for the most up to date outlet details.

 

Niagara Falls New York Visitor Guide

North of Buffalo in the state of New York Niagara falls is probably New York states second most visited city with only New York, New York attracting more visitors annually.

Probably the most important area of concern of any visitor wanting to view the falls would be a trip to Goat Island. This is about the closest you can get to the falls and the most friendly and accessible destination wishing to cross Niagara falls of their bucket list whilst remaining in America.

Goat Island is free to enter and the breath taking views up close to falls, the hikes, trails and wildlife are all free also. There are a range of activities on the island for which an admission fee is payable including the not to be missed Cave of the Winds. Package tickets can be brought which offer entrance to the cave, Maid of the mist tours and other attractions for around $38 US at the time of writing.

Visit the Viewing platform for the best Views.

You will here the statement ” but the view is better from the Canadian side” all the time. Ok, so from land you could argue this is true. Niagara Falls New York though offers by far the best alternatives, its the home of the world famous Maid of the Mist tours which cant be beaten for getting up real close and feeling the power of the falls and getting wet of coarse. If you don’t wish to get on the water but fancy the thrill of walking out onto a viewing platform high above American falls then this is well worth a stroll through the state park, next to the Rainbow Bridge crossing.

Try the Casino for some evening entertainment

The city of Niagara falls, whilst not like its tourist center Canadian counterpart,  is in the main much like any other American city, there is plentiful restaurants and entertainment close to the falls and with some hotels well located near to the state parks and a shopping mall not far from the hotels there is plenty on offer when not admiring the falls. The city also has a Casio located within the Seneca Niagara Resort a short walk for the biggest hotels in the area.

Transport around the tourist area and deeper into Niagara falls is provided for with a hop on-off Trolley service which if buying an explorer pass from the falls is included in the price. Regular buss services are available and the city also has to the east The Niagara Falls International Airport ( IAG ).

If your visiting Niagara Falls by car then driving times and distances are approximately:

  • From Buffalo NY 25 miles /36 Minutes
  • From Rochester NY 88 Miles / 1 hour 36 Minutes
  • From New York NY 410 Miles / 6 hour 30 Minutes

Niagara facts and figures:

  • Over 163,000,000 Litres flow over the falls at peak times.
  • Used for Hydro-Electric power generation to over 160,000 homes.
  • Directly on the border between Canada and the USA.
  • Last estimates expected 30 million visitors annually.
  • Home to the famous Maid of the Mist.

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Niagara Falls – Which is the best side to visit – USA or Canada

One of the most common questions asked be people wanting to or planning to visit Niagara Falls is which side is it best viewed from, USA or Canada.

Whilst we are not going to directly tell you which side you should visit, as each has its merits, we will do our best to list the pros and cons of both to help you make an informed choice. We do have our own favorite but that’s our own personal opinion and it would be wrong to tell you outright one way or the other. We will explain the facts and hopefully all your questions will be answered.

So lets get some statements out there to begin with:

The view most commonly seen in photos and on the media looking across the Niagara river at the falls is the view from the Canadian side, other than looking at Horseshoe falls ( one of the three falls that make up Niagara Falls ) you will only ever see the falls side on from the American side. Now of course this is only true if you are planning on staying on dry land. If your not that bothered about looking across at the falls but you are planning on going on the Maid of the Mist then arguably the American side is better as the Maid is Based here, although she does pick up from the Canadian side also.

Goat island is within US territory and is only accessible from the American side. Whilst not on every visitors list, if its on the wishlist then accessibility should be noted. The Island is very much different from the Canadian park offering in that once on the island there is a selection of shop, restaurants and the Cave of the Winds Tour. Just like the Canadian counter part, it is free to access and take in the views of the falls.

Niagara Falls From Below - TravelammoBehind and down to the falls is something which both sides offer although they do have slight differences. The Canadian tour branded Journey Behind the falls offers trips down to viewing platforms emerging from the rock faces very close to the edge of horseshoe falls, the standard tour does not as you might think allow you to walk about freely behind the falls. The american offering, Cave of the winds begins with a similar elevator trip down inside the rock but the remainder of the tour leads you along many exposed platforms.

So whats the cost of all these attractions, well the most comparable multi attraction ticket at the time of this being published is $38 US and $55 CAD. Both get you similar entrances and privileges, the Canadian being Journey behind the falls, Hornblower Niagara cruise, Niagara’s Fury Experience,  White water walk and a WEGO buss pass. The American ticket includes the Cave of the Winds, Maid of the Mist, Aquarium of Niagara, Niagara adventure theater, Niagara Gorge Discovery center and a Niagara Trolley Pass.

What about viewing platforms. Well the Canadian side does not have one simple. It does however have the whole side of the Niagara river looking onto the falls so you cant get much better than that but the American side does have a dedicated viewing platform which extends out over the edge between American falls and the Rainbow Bridge.

Niagara Falls Clifton Hill - TravelammoThe towns on each side provide very different experiences. The Canadian Niagara falls is pretty much a giant tourist resort whilst the American side is pretty much like and other american city. Both sides have restaurants, hotels and plenty of souvenir shops. However, Mall shopping is most easily available on the American side.

So in summery both sides have about the same to offer, it will come down to what side you like the sound of the most, which country you are already in and maybe even where you can get the best hotel deal. It must be mentioned that which ever country you are already in, traveling from one side to the other is relatively hassle free for most nationalities, although please do bare in mind if you are a national or traveling from a country that does not participate in the various visa waiver plans you may need visas which will need to be applied for in advance.

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Smithsonian’s National Zoo – Washington DC

Located just a few miles from the usual tourist hot spots in Washington D.C, like the white house and the capital building, there is the perfect addition to any trip to the DC area, the Smithsonian National Zoo. Not only does it provide a fantastic break from exploring monuments and museums, but it can also provide a welcome break for all the family whilst escaping the heat of the city. Another plus is like virtually all the Smithsonian properties, entrance is free, which is a big bonus if you are a family group.

Set among 163 acres in the south of Rock Creek Park, 5 miles to the North of the National Mall, the Biological park and Zoo is home to over 200 different species of animals including the very popular and endangered Giant Pandas. The Park and Zoo provide the perfect place to spend an a summers day with plenty of spaces to have lunch with the family and given that it is free to visit, on arrival you just walk straight though the gates and get set to explore.

Given the park is reasonably large it is often nice to visit several times, exploring a different area in detail with each trip. This is obviously only convenient if you are staying nearby but if you are looking to just visit for the day it is wise to plan for a whole day, you will need it.

Smithsonian Zoo is subdivided into various themed areas, each designed to provide natural environments and give visitors a helping hand where to look for certain species as well as educating as to the animals origins at the same time. For example the Giant Pandas are located along the Bamboo lined Asian trail next to the Asian Elephants.

As the Zoological park is a working research facility there is often the chance to see or even take part in some of the extremely important research that takes place year round. All of the staff at the zoo are extremely keen to chat and answer any questions you may have and we encourage you to do so, it will make you visit unforgettable whilst learning personal accounts on the lives and history of some of the animals that call the zoo home.

A selection of the Smithsonian’s favorite animals:

  • Giant Pandas, Red Pandas, Sloth Bears
  • Elephants
  • Great Cats including Lions and Tigers
  • Meerkats
  • Great Apes including Orangutans and Gorillas
  • Reptiles including Anacondas, Cobras, Tortoises, Turtles and Alligators
  • American Bison
  • Grey Wolves

Obviously this is a tiny selection of the animals available for viewing, there is much more to explore at the park and as it is a working facility there are many new arrivals, exchanges and newborns so there is always something new to see even if you have visited before.

Being set in the grounds of a park the Zoo, unlike many others is spacious with large enclosures,all of which offer unrivaled views of the animals. Many enclosures are designed in such a way that few have fences obscuring the view making you feel closer to the animals. This also leads to less crowded viewing areas with plenty of time to observe the animals behavior.

Food, Drink and Amenities at the Smithsonian Zoo:

There are several restaurants and cafes available located around the park serving a range of meals. Burgers and fast food, children’s meals, salads and sandwich’s are all available at reasonable prices. There is also a few grill offering sit down meals in a slightly more formal setting whilst food kiosks and stands are located around the park for a snack on the go.

The zoo also welcome visitors to bring in their own food into the park but please remember to be careful with waste.

Zoo opening times and dates:

The zoological park is open everyday with the exception of December 25th. Hours vary by time of year but are generally 8am-7pm (5pm in winter). Dinning, Shopping and some exhibit halls have earlier closing times.

The park often has special events surrounding holidays so please be sure to check the Zoos website before visiting.

Getting to the Smithsonian Zoo and Parking

Visiting by Car – So we mentioned entrance is free, Parking however is not and is currently charged at around $22 per day. Not a bad price considering that is per car. Entrances to most zoos is often more than that per person. All main car parks are located along the North road which is accessible from both the scenic Beach Drive and the Connecticut Ave NW.

Metro – The zoo is easily accessible from three Metro stations within a few minutes walk, the closest is the Woodley Park-Zoo station with the Columbia heights to the west and Cleavland Park on Connecticut Ave to the north a 10-15 minute walk.

For More information visit the Smithsonian Zoo Site here.

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