Tag Archives: Places with a View!

The Redwoods of California: The Perfect Spot

Stop and Smell the Trees

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You wouldn’t think it necessary, as you’re cruisin’ along California’s Redwood Highway (U.S. Route 101), to stop and see the trees–specifically, the redwoods–since they’re all over the place. We thought we’d pull over to the side of the road once or twice to get some good snapshots as we traversed Northern California on our way to Crescent City. But then we spotted Frank and Bess Smithe Grove outside Leggett.

It looked like a place to just pull over for a couple of minutes, but we soon discovered that the Grove is a hidden, magical place. And that’s the way it’s supposed to be, so we got out and explored.

There’s no human development (except for a couple of carved out trees) and, when we visited on that particular day, there were no other humans! Just the giant redwoods and us. Nice and peaceful with California nature. 

Frank and Bess Smithe Grove is operated by California State Parks. Officially, it’s a “State Natural Reserve”. And reserved it was; it was frozen in time. It’s a place to remind us that we must live in harmony with nature. We promise that you’ll have a newfound appreciation for redwoods after you visit this place. 

Links
Official website

Lakewood Heritage Center

These Buildings Are a Little Displaced (But That’s a Good Thing)

Special thanks to the Lakewood Heritage Center for their help with this article.

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The Denver Metro Area is growing at a rapid pace, but it hasn’t forgotten its roots. We were pleasantly surprised, as we enjoyed a stroll through Belmar Park last summer, to find a number of old and even older buildings that were remarkably well preserved. 

Officially, we had wandered onto the grounds of the Lakewood Heritage Center, which borders the Park. Lakewood is a burgeoning suburb of Denver with its own unique history. The Heritage Center–originally known as Belmar Village when it was founded in 1976–has worked hard to preserve some of the original farm buildings built on this land in the early 20th century.

But then there are the other buildings, like the diner, that seem oddly out of place. Those came later…and they were built somewhere else. The Heritage Center, like the City of Lakewood, has grown since its inception, and now incorporates a number of artifacts, large and small, to document the history of this fascinating part of the country. 

Belmar Park also happens to be exceptionally beautiful with lots of trails and pathways. A perfect combination of outdoor fun and exploring.

You know how we love to step back through time at UndiscoveredWanderings. This one you can’t miss.

Links
Lakewood Heritage Center
City of Lakewood, Colorado
Belmar Park

Antelope Island State Park, Utah

Wildlife. Lots of it.

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If you’re looking for scenery and wildlife, this is it!

Antelope Island State Park, about an hour drive from Salt Lake City, makes for a good day trip. Your drive out there will treat you to an outstanding view of the Great Salt Lake as you cruise along Antelope Island Road, just off I-15. Odd that the drive reminded us of cruising the causeways of South Florida, but in fact nothing could be more opposite.

As you cruise around the Park roads, you’ll notice the wildlife is hard to miss. Although named for the antelope, you’ll probably see more bison. Lots of them.

A simple $10 entrance fee will let you in, then you’re free to explore. Perfect for a cool down on a hot Salt Lake City day. We recommend checking the link below for current Park conditions before visiting.

Links
Antelope Island State Park

Painted Canyon

On Your Way to Fargo, Stop and See the Sights

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Let’s say you’re heading into North Dakota coming from Montana on I-94. Let’s say you want to take in the view of the amazing scenery, including and especially Painted Canyon. Let’s say we’ve got a place for you!

Fargo wasn’t our only stop in this great northern state. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, which is only about 20 miles from the MT/ND border, will make your day. This is historical Dakota Territory, with a park aptly named for a U.S. President who spent a lot of time here. This is no ordinary scenic overview.

There’s plenty to see in the Park itself, but if you’re in a hurry, there’s an amazing scenic overlook of Painted Canyon as you’re heading East on I-94 towards Fargo (see map point above). Watch out for bison.

Perfect stop for the All-American Summer Road Trip. Adventure on!

   

Links
Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Painted Canyon Visitor Center

 

Castle for the Road, Anyone?

At Bishop Castle, Your Start to Summer Awaits

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We’d like to thank one of our readers, Kim, for sending us these photos and sharing her story. Kim visited Bishop Castle a couple weeks ago–an interesting way to start the summer. Thank you, Kim. 

You read that right. It’s a castle. In Colorado. About an hour drive southwest of Pueblo. We thought we’d seen it all at Carhenge, but this place definitely gives Carhenge a run for its money. And what is it about Colorado, anyway? We always find weird stuff there, like that one time when we found a dinosaur in Golden. At least he was friendly.

Anyway, back to Bishop Castle…

60 years ago, Jim Bishop had a vision, and that vision was to build, build, build. Then he built some more, then more…and then some more for good measure. He just kept going. Today the sprawling castle that bears his name reaches high into the sky with unmatched views. There’s even a ballroom. We’re also told there’s a dragon on top of the building.

Bishop Castle is a bold and action-packed workout of a tourist attraction, given the spiral staircase and all, so we advise comfortable close-toed shoes. We definitely look forward to seeing this for ourselves someday. 


We always enjoy hearing from our readers and welcome you to send us your travel stories through our Share Your Travels page. Your contributions help make UndiscoveredWanderings possible.

 

Bishop Castle official website