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Saturday, 26 May 2012

Jacksonville

Jacksonville




Jacksonville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Florida in terms of both population and land area, and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. It is the county seat of Duval County, with which the city government consolidated in 1968. The consolidation gave Jacksonville its great size and placed most of its metropolitan population within the city limits; with a population of 821,784, it is the most populous city proper in Florida and the Southeast, and the eleventh most populous in the United States. Jacksonville is in the First Coast region of northeast Florida and is centered on the banks of the St. Johns River, about 25 miles (40 km) south of the Georgia state line and about 340 miles (547 km) north of Miami. 

The area of the modern city of Jacksonville has been inhabited for thousands of years. On Black Hammock Island in the national Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, a University of North Florida team discovered some of the oldest remnants of pottery in the United States, dating to 2500 BC. In the 16th century, the beginning of the historical era, the region was inhabited by the Mocama, a coastal subgroup of the Timucua people. At the time of contact with Europeans, all Mocama villages in present-day Jacksonville were part of the powerful chiefdom known as the Saturiwa, centered around the mouth of the St. Johns River. One early map shows a village called Ossachite at the site of what is now downtown Jacksonville; this may be the earliest recorded name for that area. 

European explorers first arrived in the area 1562, when French Huguenot explorer Jean Ribault charted the St. Johns River. In 1564, René Goulaine de Laudonnière established the first European settlement, Fort Caroline, on the St. Johns near the main village of the Saturiwa. On September 20, 1565, a Spanish force from the nearby Spanish settlement of St. Augustine attacked Fort Caroline, and killed nearly all the French soldiers defending it. The Spanish renamed the fort San Mateo, and following the ejection of the French, St. Augustine's position as the most important settlement in Florida was solidified.

Spain ceded Florida to the British in 1763, after the French and Indian War, and the British soon constructed the King's Road connecting St. Augustine to Georgia. The road crossed the St. Johns River at a narrow point, which the Seminole called Wacca Pilatka and the British named the "Cow Ford", both names ostensibly reflecting the fact that cattle were brought across the river there. Britain ceded control of the territory back to Spain in 1783, after its defeat in the American Revolutionary War, and The settlement at the Cow Ford continued to grow. After Spain ceded the Florida Territory to the United States in 1821, American settlers on the north side of the Cow Ford decided to plan a town, laying out the streets and plats. They soon named the town "Jacksonville", after Andrew Jackson. Led by Isaiah D. Hart, residents wrote a charter for a town government, which was approved by the Florida Legislative Council on February 9, 1832.

During the American Civil War, Jacksonville was a key supply point for hogs and cattle being shipped from Florida to aid the Confederate cause. The city was blockaded by Union forces, who gained control of the nearby Fort Clinch. From 1862, they controlled the city and most of the First Coast for the duration of the war. Though no battles were fought in Jacksonville proper, the city changed hands several times between Union and Confederate forces. Warfare and the long occupation left the city disrupted after the war.

During Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, Jacksonville and nearby St. Augustine became popular winter resorts for the rich and famous. Visitors arrived by steamboat and later by railroad. President Grover Cleveland attended the Sub-Tropical Exposition in the city on February 22, 1888 during his trip to Florida. This highlighted the visibility of the state as a worthy place for tourism. The city's tourism, however, was dealt major blows in the late 19th century by yellow fever outbreaks. In addition, extension of the Florida East Coast Railway further south drew visitors to other areas. From 1893 to 1938 Jacksonville was the site of the Florida Old Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Home with a nearby cemetery.

On May 3, 1901, downtown Jacksonville was ravaged by a fire that started at a fiber factory. Known as the "Great Fire of 1901", it was one of the worst disasters in Florida history and the largest urban fire in the southeastern United States. In just eight hours, it destroyed the business district and left approximately 10,000 residents homeless. It is said the glow from the flames could be seen in Savannah, Georgia, and the smoke plumes in Raleigh, North Carolina. Architect Henry John Klutho was a primary figure in the reconstruction of the city. More than 13,000 buildings were constructed between 1901 and 1912. 

The city center includes the Jacksonville Landing and the Jacksonville Riverwalks. The Landing is a popular riverfront dining and shopping venue, accessible by River Taxi from the Southbank Riverwalk. The Northbank Riverwalk runs 2.0 miles (3.2 km) along the St. Johns from Berkman Plaza to I-95 at the Fuller Warren Bridge while the Southbank Riverwalk stretches 1.2 miles (1.9 km) from the Radisson Hotel to Museum Circle. Adjacent to Museum Circle is St. Johns River Park, also known as Friendship Park. It is the location of Friendship Fountain, one of the most recognizable and popular attractions for locals as well as tourists in Jacksonville. This landmark was built in 1965 and promoted as the “World’s Tallest and 
Largest” fountain at the time.
Jacksonville Landing

Jacksonville has two fully enclosed shopping malls. The oldest is the Regency Square Mall, which opened in 1967 and is located on former sand dunes in the Arlington area. The other is The Avenues Mall, which opened in 1990 on the Southside, at the intersection of I-95 and US 1. The Orange Park Mall is another mall located just south of the city in the suburb of Orange Park, Florida, in Clay County, off of Blanding Boulevard (Florida State Road 21).

The end of the indoor shopping mall may be indicated by the opening of The St. Johns Town Center in 2005 and the River City Marketplace, on the Northside in 2006. Both of these are "open air" malls, with a similar mix of stores, but without being contained under a single, enclosed roof. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), only one enclosed mall has been built in the United States since 2006.

Much like the community itself, the Jacksonville restaurants scene is an eclectic hybrid of inspired casual elegance and classic southern comfort, infused with the unmistakable flavor of the coast and a dash of international flair. From local eateries and fish camps to four-diamond cuisine and urban hotspots, there is a restaurant for every taste. 
Dining options in Northeast Florida range from upscale bistros to down-home fish camps, all infused with warm Southern hospitality. End the evening with a colorful nightlife scene as varied as it is vibrant. Sundown in Jacksonville sheds light on entertainment options as diverse as the local landscape. 

Diverse waterways are Jacksonville's most defining element, creating a true Florida landscape and lifestyle with a range of activities to enjoy on a number of bodies of water, from the majestic St. Johns River and the Atlantic Ocean to the Intracoastal Waterway and numerous marshes and lakes.

Whether you’re looking to explore the waterways hands-on with a guided eco-kayak tour or casting a line; seeking the calming spirit of the waters with a romantic meal for two overlooking the ocean or simply taking the family for a great day at the beach, there is a way for everyone to enjoy the water in Jacksonville.

                                                        Jacksonville’s Top 5:
       
  1. St. John's Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in Jacksonville and became the cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of Florida in 1951. The congregation was founded in 1834 as St. John's Parish and is one of the seven original parishes when the Diocese of Florida was received into union with the General Convention in 1838. According to the cornerstone for the present Cathedral, the first St. Johns Church was built in 1842 and burned in 1862 during the Civil War. In the early 1870s, Edward T. Potter designed a new St. Johns and initial construction began in 1873. The church was completed and dedicated in 1877. In 1902 a new church building had to be designed by design firm Snelling and Potter when the original structure burned in the Great Fire of 1901. St. John's Cathedral was completed and consecrated in 1906
  2. The St. James Building is a historic building in Jacksonville, currently housing Jacksonville City Hall. It was designed by architect Henry John Klutho and opened in 1912. One of many structures in downtown Jacksonville designed by Klutho after the Great Fire of 1901, it is considered his masterpiece. The building is located at 117 West Duval Street, on the former site of the St. James Hotel. It was designed as a mixed-use building containing the Cohen Bros. Department Store (later May Cohens). The department store closed in 1987, leaving the building empty. In 1993 it was purchased by the City of Jacksonville under the River City Renaissance plan, with the intention of remodeling it as the new City Hall. It reopened in 1997. On April 18, 2012, the American Institute of Architects's Florida Chapter placed the building on its list of Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places.
  3. Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center is a 265,000-square-foot (24,600 m²) convention center located in downtown. Opened in 1986, it was built incorporating Jacksonville's Union Station as well as several thousand square feet of newly-built structure. Located in Jacksonville's LaVilla neighborhood, the Prime Osborn contains two exhibition halls totaling 78,500 square feet (7,290 m²), several ballrooms and meetings rooms. The City of Jacksonville is looking to replace the Prime Osborn within the next decade, with a larger 500,000+ square foot convention center in downtown Jacksonville. The Convention Center station of the JTA Skyway is located across the street.
  4. The Morocco Temple (also known as the Morocco Temple, Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine) is a historic Shrine building. It is located at 219 Newnan Street, and was designed by New York architect Henry John Klutho. On November 29, 1979, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The building is the oldest Shrine temple in Florida. The grand building was erected in 1910-11 in the prairie style of architecture using Egyptian-themed symbols.
  5. Friendship Fountain is a large fountain in Jacksonville. It is located in St. Johns River Park (also known as Friendship Fountain Park) at the west end of Downtown Jacksonville's Southbank Riverwalk attraction. The world's largest and tallest fountain when it opened, it has been one of Jacksonville's most recognizable and popular attractions. The fountain and park were designed by Jacksonville architect Taylor Hardwick in 1963 and opened in 1965. The fountain's three pumps could push 17,000 US gallons (64,000 L) of water per minute up to ten stories in height. Friendship Fountain remained one of Jacksonville's signature attractions through the 20th century, but severe corrosion and deterioration to the equipment resulted in periodic closures in the 2000s. In 2011 the city completed a $3.2 million renovation to the fountain and the surrounding park.




Thursday, 24 May 2012

Indianapolis

Indianapolis



Indianapolis is the capital of the US state of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County, Indiana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population is 829,718. It is Indiana's largest city and, as of the 2010 U.S. Census, is the 12th largest city in the U.S., the second largest city in the Midwest (behind Chicago), the second most populous state capital (after Phoenix, Arizona), and the most populous state capital east of the Mississippi River. Indianapolis is also one of the fastest growing regions in the United States.

Native Americans who lived in the area originally included the Miami and Lenape (or Delaware) tribes, but they were displaced from the area by the early 1820s.


Indianapolis was selected as the site of the new state capital in 1820, the old state capital having been Corydon since the formation of the state of Indiana in 1816. While most American state capitals tend to be located in the central region of their respective states, Indianapolis is the closest capital to being placed in the exact center of its state. It was founded on the White River both because of this, and because of the incorrect assumption that the river would serve as a major transportation artery. However, the waterway eventually proved to be too sandy for trade. Jeremiah Sullivan, a judge of the Indiana Supreme Court, invented the name Indianapolis by joining Indiana with polis, the Greek word for city; Indianapolis literally means "Indiana City".


The state commissioned Alexander Ralston to design the new capital city. Ralston was an apprentice to the French architect Pierre L'Enfant, and he helped L'Enfant plan Washington,
D.C.. Ralston's original plan for Indianapolis called for a city of only one square mile (3 km²). At the center of the city sat Governor's Circle, a large circular commons, which was to be the site of the governor's mansion. Meridian and Market Streets converge at the Circle and continue north-south and east-west, respectively.The Capital moved from Corydon on January 10, 1825. The governor's mansion was eventually demolished in 1857 and in its place stands a 284-foot (87 m) tall neoclassical limestone and bronze monument, the Indiana Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. The surrounding street is now known as Monument Circle.

By the turn of the 20th century, Indianapolis had become a large automobile manufacturer, rivaling the likes of Detroit. With roads leading out of the city in all directions, Indianapolis became a major hub of regional transport connecting to Chicago, Louisville, Cincinnati, Columbus, Detroit, Cleveland and St. Louis, befitting the capital of a state whose nickname is "The Crossroads of America." This same network of roads would allow quick and easy access to suburban areas in future years.

City population grew rapidly throughout the first half of the 20th century. While rapid suburbanization began to take place in the second half of the century, race relations deteriorated.] Even so, on the night that Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, Indianapolis was the only major city in which rioting did not occur. Many credit the speech by Robert F. Kennedy, who was in town campaigning for President that night, for helping to calm the tensions. Racial tensions heightened in 1970 with the passage of Unigov, which further isolated the middle class from Indianapolis's growing African American community. Although Indianapolis and the state of Indiana abolished segregated schools just prior to Brown vs. Board of Education, the later action of court-ordered school desegregation busing by Judge S. Hugh Dillin was a controversial change.



World War Memorial
In 1970, non-Hispanic whites were about 80% of the population. In the 1970s and 1980s, Indianapolis suffered at the hands of urban decay and white flight. Major revitalization of the city's blighted areas, such as Fall Creek Place, and especially the downtown, began in the 1990s and led to an acceleration of growth on the fringes of the metropolitan area. The opening of Circle Centre in downtown Indianapolis jump started a major revitalization of the central business district.

The 1970s and 1980s ushered in a period of planning and revitalization for the urban core of Indianapolis. Changes came early with the reorientation of the city’s government. Unigov was created as the result of a 1970 consolidation between city and county government. The city of Indianapolis merged most government services with those of Marion County. For the most part, this resulted in a unification of Indianapolis with its immediate suburbs. This caused the boundaries of the city to grow tremendously and would be reflected in Indianapolis’ jump to the rank of America’s 11th largest city in 1970. The City-County Building housed the newly consolidated government. At its completion, the City-County Building became the city’s tallest building and the first building in the city to be taller than the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. Amidst the changes in government and growth, the city’s role as a major transportation hub and tourist destination was further strengthened with the Weir Cook Municipal Airport receiving its international designation in 1975.

The city and state have invested heavily in improvement projects such as an expansion to the Convention Center, upgrading of the I-465 beltway, and construction of an entirely new airport terminal for the Indianapolis International Airport, which is now open.



Monument Circle


                                                        Indianapolis’ Top 5:
       
  1. The Indiana Statehouse is the state capitol building of the U.S. state of Indiana. Housing the Indiana General Assembly, the office of the Governor of Indiana, the Supreme Court of Indiana, and other state officials, it is located in the state capital Indianapolis at 200 West Washington Street. Built in 1888, it is the fifth building to house the state government. The first statehouse, located in Corydon, Indiana, is still standing and is maintained as a state historic site. The second building was the old Marion County courthouse which was demolished and replaced in the early 20th century. The third building was a structure modeled on the Parthenon, but was condemned in 1877 because of structural defects and razed so the current statehouse could be built on its location.  Construction began in 1880 and the cornerstone was laid on September 28.  In front of the Statehouse stands a statue of Oliver Morton, governor of Indiana during the Civil War.
  2. The Indiana Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument is a 284 ft 6 in (86.72 m) tall neoclassical monument in the center of Indianapolis that was designed by German architect Bruno Schmitz and completed in 1901. The monument was erected to honor Hoosiers who were veterans of the American Revolution, territorial conflicts that partially led up to the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the US Civil War, and the Spanish American War. In addition to its external commemorative statuary and fountains (made primarily of oolitic limestone and bronze) the basement of the monument is the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum, a museum of Indiana history during the American Civil War. At the top there is also an observation deck that can be reached by stairs for free or by elevator for a $2.00 charge. It takes 331 steps to reach this deck, 330 of which are numbered.
  3. The Indiana World War Memorial Plaza is an urban feature located in Indianapolis, originally built to honor the veterans of World War I. The five-city-block plaza was conceived in 1919 as a location for the national headquarters of the American Legion and a memorial to the state's and nation's veterans. At the north end of the plaza is the American Legion Mall, which is the site of the administration buildings of the Legion, as well as a memorial cenotaph. South of that is the Veterans Memorial Plaza with its obelisk. The centerpiece of the plaza is the Indiana World War Memorial, modeled after the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Within is a military museum, the Shrine Room, and an auditorium. At the south end is University Park, the oldest part of the plaza, filled with statues and a fountain. On October 11, 1994, the Indiana World War Memorial Plaza was designated a National Historic Landmark District.
  4. The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is the world's largest children's museum. It is located in the United Northwest Area neighborhood on Meridian Street. The museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums. It is 472,900 square feet (43,933.85 m2) with five floors of exhibit halls and receives more than one million visitors annually. Its collection of over 120,000 artifacts and exhibit items are divided into three domains: the American Collection, the Cultural World Collection, and the Natural World Collection. Among the exhibits are a simulated Cretaceous dinosaur habitat, a carousel, and a steam locomotive. Because the museum's targeted audience is children, most exhibits are designed to be interactive allowing children to actively participate. Founded in 1925 by Mary Stewart Carey with the help of Indianapolis civic leaders and organizations, it is the fourth oldest such institution in the world. The current site became home for the museum in 1946; the current building was constructed in 1976, and has had six major expansions since then. 
  5. The Scottish Rite Cathedral is a historic building designed by architect George F. Schreiber, located in downtown Indianapolis. It is owned by the Valley of Indianapolis Scottish Rite, an affiliated body of Freemasonry. It was built between 1927 and 1929 at the cost of $2.5 million. It was built with every dimension (in feet) being evenly divisible by three (reflecting the three degrees in Freemasonry), with many being divisible by 33 (reflecting the degrees a member of the Scottish Rite can achieve). The Cathedral is one of the largest Masonic buildings, and considered by many as the finest example of Neo-Gothic architecture, in the United States. The main tower features a 54-bell carillon and rises 212 ft (65 m) above Indianapolis. It also has a floating ballroom.Other features are patterned ceilings, ornate carved woodwork, and stained-glass windows. The auditorium has 1200 seats, and has been commended for the craftsmanship with which its fittings and decorations were made It also has a large pipe organ.


    The Scottish Rite Cathedral


References: http://visitindy.com/

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Honolulu

Honolulu




Honolulu is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Hawaii. Honolulu is the southernmost major U.S. city. Although the name "Honolulu" refers to the urban area on the southeastern shore of the island of Oahu, the city and county government are consolidated as Honolulu County which covers the entire island.

Evidence of the first settlement of Honolulu by the original Polynesian migrants to the archipelago comes from oral histories and artifacts. These indicate that there was a settlement where Honolulu now stands in the 11th century. However, after Kamehameha I conquered Oʻahu in the Battle of Nuʻuanu at Nuʻuanu Pali, he moved his royal court from the Island of Hawaiʻi to Waikīkī in 1804. His court relocated in 1809 to what is now downtown Honolulu. The capital was moved back to Kailua-Kona in 1812.

In 1794, Captain William Brown of Great Britain was the first foreigner to sail into what is now Honolulu Harbor. More foreign ships followed, making the port of Honolulu a focal point for merchant ships traveling between North America and Asia.

Aloha Tower
In 1845, Kamehameha III moved the permanent capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom from Lahaina on Maui to Honolulu. He and the kings that followed him transformed Honolulu into a modern capital, erecting buildings such as St. Andrew's Cathedral, ʻIolani Palace, and Aliʻiōlani Hale. At the same time, Honolulu became the center of commerce in the islands, with descendants of American missionaries establishing major businesses in downtown Honolulu.

Despite the turbulent history of the late 19th century and early 20th century, such as the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893, Hawaiʻi's subsequent annexation by the United States in 1898, followed by a large fire in 1900, and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Honolulu remained the capital, largest city, and main airport and seaport of the Hawaiian Islands.

An economic and tourism boom following statehood brought rapid economic growth to Honolulu and Hawaiʻi. Modern air travel brings, as of 2007, 7.6 million visitors annually to the islands, with 62.3% entering at Honolulu International Airport. Today, Honolulu is a modern city with numerous high-rise buildings, and Waikīkī is the center of the tourism industry in Hawaiʻi, with thousands of hotel rooms. The UK consulting firm Mercer, in a 2009 assessment "conducted to help governments and major companies place employees on international assignments", ranked Honolulu 29th worldwide in quality of living; the survey factored in political stability, personal freedom, sanitation, crime, housing, the natural environment, recreation, banking facilities, availability of consumer goods, education, and public services including transportation.

Naturally, when most visitors think of Honolulu beaches, they think of the famous Waikiki Beach. As the tourist center of the Hawaiian Islands, this white sand beach, framed by hotels and Diamond Head as a backdrop, is easily the most crowded. Waikiki is popular with a wide crowd, as it's a excellent place for swimming, sunbathers, catamaran and outrigger canoes, as well as a great spot for beginner surfers and body boarders (and there are plenty of surf schools set up in Waikiki for lessons). What's remarkable is that even in Waikiki you can find a fairly quiet beach; it's just a matter of knowing where to look.

But if you really need to get away from the crowds, there are plenty of other beaches. Just to the west, near Downtown, is Ala Moana Park, a green space with plenty of trees and grass as well as an nice sandy beach that's popular with the locals and is perfect for families or a calmer swim.

The area surrounding Makapu'u Point in Eastern Honolulu has several excellent beaches, the most popular being Hanauma Bay, which is set in the crater of an extinct volcano, now open to the sea and filled with a coral reef. This is not the place for a good swim and certainly not the spot for surfing, but the calm water and abundance of marine life makes it excellent for snorkeling and scuba diving. Even if you don't get in the water, the scenery makes it a great place to sunbathe or picnic, although you'll find parking to be an issue.

Just near Hanauma Bay is the Halona Beach Cove, known as "the Peering Place". It is a small, rocky cove that has good swimming with the surf is calm, but no lifeguards here means it's at your own risk. NearbySandy Beach does have lifeguards, and has been popular with surfers and bodyboarders for decades. On a calm day, it can be good for a fun day of swimming. Makapu'u Beach, just a little further up the road, is quite scenic. It tends to have very large waves, meaning it many not be the best place to swim but a fantastic place to surf.

There are several shopping centers in Honolulu, ranging from your typical large strip malls to more unique areas popular with tourists. The International Market Place in Waikiki is one such spot, filled with market stalls and shops laid out amongst a jungle-like backdrop of banyan trees. Also in Waikiki is the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, DFS Galleria (Duty Free Shops), and the Waikiki Shopping Plaza, also very popular with tourists.

Downtown also has a few shopping areas. The Aloha Tower Marketplace on the harborfront next to Aloha Tower is popular with tourists. Between Downtown and Waikiki is the Ala Moana Center, the largest shopping mall in Hawaii and the largest open-air shopping center in the world. There are also the Victoria Ward Centers. For something truly unique, Chinatown has food and seafood markets, as well as many Lei (the ornamental flowered necklace) makers on the street corners.

Eastern Honolulu has a couple of regional malls, Kahala Mall and Koko Marina Center, with various large stores and movie theaters. In Western Honolulu, Aloha Stadium is home to the Aloha Stadium Swap Meetevery Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, and offers a chance to buy from local merchants and artists and get things for far cheaper than you can anywhere else.

U.S.S. Arizona Memorial
                                                        Honolulu’s Top 5:
       
  1. ʻIolani Palace, in the capitol district of downtown Honolulu, is the only royal palace in the United States used as an official residence by a reigning monarch and is a National Historic Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Two monarchs governed from ʻIolani Palace: King Kalākaua and Queen Liliʻuokalani. After the monarchy was overthrown in 1893, the building was used as the capitol building for the Provisional Government, Republic, Territory, and State of Hawaiʻi until 1969. The palace was restored and opened to the public as a museum in 1978. The ʻIolani Palace structure that exists today is actually the second to sit on the grounds. The original one story wooden building called Hanailoiawas built in July 1844, only one-third the floor area of the present palace. Mataio Kekūanāoʻa, who was long-time Royal Governor of Oʻahu, built it for his daughter Princess Victoria Kamāmalu. It was purchased by King Kamehameha III from Kamāmalu (the King's niece) when he moved his capital from Lahaina to Honolulu in 1845. Kekūanāoʻa built his own house directly to the west, and Kekāuluohi built hers to the south near the Pohukaina mausoleum.
  2. The Aloha Tower is a lighthouse that is considered one of the landmarks of the state of Hawaii. Opened on September 11, 1926 at a then astronomical cost of $160,000, the Aloha Tower is located at Pier 9 of Honolulu Harbor. It has and continues to be a guiding beacon welcoming vessels to the City and County of Honolulu. Just as the Statue of Liberty greeted hundreds of thousands of immigrants each year to New York City, the Aloha Tower greeted hundreds of thousands of immigrants to Honolulu. At 10 stories and 184 feet (56 m) of height topped with 40 feet (12 m) of flag mast, for four decades the Aloha Tower was the tallest structure in Hawaii. It was built in the Hawaiian Gothic architectural style.
  3. The Honolulu Museum of Art, (formally Honolulu Academy of Arts), is an art museum in Honolulu in the state of Hawaiʻi. Since its founding in 1922 by Anna Rice Cooke and opening April 8, 1927, its collections have grown to over 40,000 works of art. The Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums and registered as a National and State Historical site. In 1990, the Museum Art Center was opened to provide a program of studio art classes and workshops. In 2001, the Henry R. Luce Pavilion Complex opened with the Pavilion Café, Museum Shop, and Henry R. Luce Wing with 8,000 square feet (740 m2) of gallery space. In 2005, the Asian Painting Conservation Center was opened for conservation efforts for the Museum’s Asian collection.
  4. The USS Arizona Memorial, located at Pearl Harbor, marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors killed on the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 by Japanese imperial forces and commemorates the events of that day. The attack on Pearl Harbor and the island of Oʻahu was the action that led to United States involvement in World War II. The memorial, dedicated in 1962, is visited by more than one million people annually. Accessible only by boat, it straddles the sunken hull of the battleship without touching it. Historical information about the attack, shuttle boats to and from the memorial, and general visitor services are available at the associated USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center, which opened in 1980 and is operated by the National Park Service. The sunken remains of the battleship were declared a National Historic Landmark on 5 May 1989.
  5. The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (locally known as Punchbowl) is a cemetery that serves a memorial to those men and women who served in the United States Armed Forces. It is administered by the National Cemetery Administration of the United States Department of Veterans Affairsand is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Millions of visitors visit the cemetery each year, and it is one of the more popular tourist attractions in Hawaii.




Hertz

Monday, 21 May 2012

Greensboro

Greensboro




Greensboro is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is the third-largest city by population in North Carolina and the largest city in Guilford County and the surrounding Piedmont Triad metropolitan region. 

The city was named for Major General Nathanael Greene, commander of the American forces at the Battle of Guilford Court House on March 15, 1781. Although the Americans lost the battle, Greene's forces inflicted such heavy casualties on the British Army of General Charles Cornwallis that Cornwallis chose to pull his battered army out of North Carolina and into Virginia. This decision allowed a combined force of American and French troops to trap Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia, where the British were forced to surrender on October 19, 1781, after a 20-day siege, thus ending the military phase of the American Revolution. As such, Greene's successful efforts at weakening the British Army played a key role in securing America's victory over the British.

Greensboro was established near the geographic center of Guilford County, on land that was "an unbroken forest with thick undergrowth of huckleberry bushes, that bore a finely flavored fruit.". Property for the future village was purchased for $98, and three north-south streets (Greene, Elm, Davie) were laid out intersecting with three east-west streets (Gaston, Market, Sycamore). The courthouse stood at the center of the intersection of Elm and Market streets. By 1821, the town was home to 369 residents.

In the early 1840s, Greensboro was selected by the state government at the request of then Governor Morehead (whose estate, Blandwood, is located in Greensboro) for inclusion on a new railroad line. The city grew substantially in size and soon became known as the "Gate City" due to its role as a transportation hub for the state. The railroads transported goods to and from textile mills, which grew up with their own mill villages around the city. Many of these businesses remained in the city until the 21st century, when most of them went bankrupt, reorganized, and/or merged with other companies. Greensboro remains as a major textile headquarters city with the main offices of International Textile Group (Cone, Burlington Industries), Galey & Lord, Unifi, and VF Corporation (Wrangler, Lee, The North Face, Nautica). The importance of rail traffic continues for the city, as Greensboro serves as a major regional freight hub, and four Amtrak passenger trains stop in Greensboro daily on the main Norfolk Southern line between Washington and New Orleans by way of Atlanta.

Though the city developed slowly, early wealth generated from cotton trade and merchandising led to the construction of several notable buildings. The earliest building, later named Blandwood Mansion and Gardens, was built in 1795. Additions to this residence in 1846 designed by Alexander Jackson Davis of New York City made the house an influential landmark in the nation as America's earliest Tuscan Villa. Other significant estates followed, including "Dunleith" designed by Samuel Sloan, Bellemeade, and the Bumpass-Troy House (now operating as an inn).
Bumpass-Troy House

During the twentieth century, Greensboro continued to expand in wealth and population. Rapid growth led to construction of grand commercial and civic buildings, many of which remain standing today, designed by hometown architects Charles Hartmann and Harry Barton. Other notable industries became established in the city, including Vicks Chemical Co, Carolina Steel Corporation, and Pomona Terra Cotta Works. During this period of growth, Greensboro experienced an acute housing shortage. Builders sought to maintain a construction goal of 80 to 100 affordable housing units per year in order to provide homes for workers. Greensboro's real estate was considered "the wonder of the state" during the 1920s. Growth continued through the Great Depression, as Greensboro added an estimated 200 new families per year to its population. The city earned a reputation as a well-planned community, with a strong emphasis on education, parks, and a profitable employment base.

As Greensboro evolved into one of North Carolina's primary cities, changes began to occur within its traditional social structure. On February 1, 1960, four black college students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College sat down at an all-white Woolworth's lunch counter, and refused to leave after they were denied service. The four students purchased small items in other parts of the store and kept their receipts, then sat down at the lunch counter and asked to be served. After being denied service, they produced their receipts and asked why their money was good everywhere else at the store, but not at the lunch counter. Hundreds of others soon joined in this sit-in, which lasted several months. Such protests quickly spread across the South, ultimately leading to the desegregation of Woolworth's and other chains. 

Greensboro is home to a large variety of retail shopping from well-known national chains to local boutiques and galleries. Four Seasons Town Centre, located on the city's southwest side off I-40, is a three-level regional mall with anchors Belk, Dillard's, and JCPenney. Friendly Center, located off Friendly Avenue is an open-air shopping complex featuring Belk, Macy's, Sears, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, the nation's largest Harris Teeter supermarket, Old Navy, and a multiplex cinema.  Additional shopping centers are located primarily on the West Wendover corridor near I-40 and on Battleground Avenue on the city's northwest side. Recently, "big-box" retailers have clustered at the site of the former Carolina Circle Mall on the city's northeast side and on the city's far south along the newly completed Painter Boulevard (I-85).

Greensboro is also home to the largest retail horse depot in the world, located near the famed "Sharpe Family Horse Farm" on Middlesex Drive. First opened in 1894 as a wholesale supplier to the southeastern Pony Express, the farm now sells thoroughbred mares, yearlings, fillies and Arabian horses to an estimated 8,000 private purchasers annually.






                                                        Greensboro’s Top 5:
       
  1. Blandwood Mansion, originally built as a four room Federal style farmhouse in 1795, is the restored home of two-term North Carolina governor John Motley Morehead (1841-1844) in downtown Greensboro. Initially constructed as a two-story, four-room frame farmhouse in 1795, Blandwood was named for its builder Charles Bland. Governor Morehead lived in the house from 1827 until his death in 1866. As a political leader, Morehead hosted numerous intellectuals of the day including social activist Dorothea Dix and architect Alexander Jackson Davis. During the Civil War, the house served as quarters for Confederate General P. G. T. Beauregard, and after the fall of the Confederacy the house was temporary headquarters for Union Generals Jacob Dolson Cox and John Schofield. North Carolina Governor Zebulon B. Vance surrendered himself to Cox and Schofield in the main parlor of Blandwood on May 2, 1865.
  2. The Greensboro Coliseum Complex is an entertainment complex located in College Hill neighborhood. Opening in 1959, the arena was one of the largest venues in the South, with a seating capacity of over 23,000. The complex holds nine venues that includes an amphitheater, arena, aquatic center, banquet hall, convention center, museum, performing arts center, theatre and an indoor pavilion. It is presently the home of the UNC Greensboro Spartans men's basketball team, as well as the ACC Men and Women's Basketball Tournament.
  3. The International Civil Rights Center and Museum  The museum building is the former location of the Woolworth's in which the Greensboro sit-ins took place, beginning February 1, 1960. The museum's aim is to memorialize the actions of four students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T), those who joined them in the daily Woolworth's sit-ins, and others around the country who took part in sit-ins and the civil rights movement. The original lunch counter and stools where the four first sat are still in their original location (though a section of the counter is also on display at the Smithsonian.)  The museum opened February 1, 2010, on the 50th anniversary of the original sit-in, with a ribbon cutting and opening ceremonies.  
  4. Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, at 2332 New Garden Road , commemorates the Battle of Guilford Court House, fought on March 15, 1781. This battle opened the campaign that led to American victory in the Revolutionary War. The losses by the British in this battle contributed to their surrender at Yorktown seven months later. The battlefield is preserved as a National Military Park and operated by the National Park Service (NPS). Based on research of historical evidence, the interpretation of the battle has changed since the late 20th century, which will affect the placement of monuments and markers.
  5. The Carolina Theatre of Greensboro,  is North Carolina's only remaining historic theatre. It was billed as “The Showplace of the Carolinas” when it opened on Halloween night, 1927. The 2200 seat structure was built for the Saenger-Publix Company, cost over $500,000 to build and was one of the first commercial buildings to be air conditioned in the state. Early programs featured live performances, the Carolina Theatre Orchestra, the Carolina News newsreel, audience sing-alongs and silent films accompanied on the Robert Morton theatre organ. Saenger installed a Vitaphone sound system in 1928. The first "talkies" attracted sellout crowds. The first movie with sound shown at the Carolina was ["Glorious Betsy"] starring [Conrad Nagle] in 1928. The ["The Jazz Singer] was shown next. When constructed, the auditorium had a segregated balcony plus a mezzanine. Black patrons entered by a separate stairway and could only sit in the balcony. As late as May, 1963, the theatre was segregated. On May 15, 1963, students from North Carolina A&T University and Bennett College blocked the theatre's entrance when they were refused entrance.


    The International Civil Rights Center and Museum





HotelsCombined.com

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Fort Worth

Fort Worth




Fort Worth is the 16th-largest city in the United States of America and the fifth-largest city in the state of Texas. Located in North Central Texas, just southeast of the Texas Panhandle, the city is a cultural gateway into the American West and covers nearly 300 square miles (780 km2) in Tarrant, Denton, and Wise counties, serving as the seat for Tarrant County.

The city was established in 1849 as an Army outpost on a bluff overlooking the Trinity River. Today Fort Worth still embraces its Western heritage and traditional architecture and design. USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) is the first ship of the United States Navy named after the city.

The history of Fort Worth, is closely intertwined with the history of northern Texas and the history of the Texan frontier. From its early history as an outpost and a barrier against Native American threats, to its later days as a booming cattle town, to modern times as a corporate center, the city has changed dramatically, although it still preserves much of its heritage in its modern culture.

In January 1849, U.S. Army General William Jenkins Worth, an admired veteran of the Mexican-American War, proposed building ten forts to mark where the west Texas frontier began from Eagle Pass to the confluence of the West Fork and Clear Fork of the Trinity River. Worth died on 7 May 1849 from cholera and General William S. Harney assumed Worth's position and ordered Major Ripley A. Arnold to find a new fort site near the confluence of the West and Clear Forks. On 6 June 1849, Arnold established a post on the banks of the Trinity and named it Camp Worth in honor of the recently passed General. In August 1849, Arnold moved the camp to a north-facing bluff that overlooked the mouth of the Clear Fork. The US War Department officially granted the name "Fort Worth" to the post on 14 November 1849.

Pioneers began to settle in the area around Fort Worth even though Native Americans were still a considerable threat. In the process of relocating the camp to the bluff, Arnold found George "Press" Farmer living there and allowed him to open the first sutler's store. When a new line of forts was built further west, the U.S. Army evacuated Fort Worth on 17 September 1853. The settlers decided that with no one there to argue with them, they could take unopposed possession of the fort site. 

In 1855, a battle over the placement of the county seat erupted. Since 1849 the county seat had been Birdville, but in 1855 Fort Worth citizens decided that the honor of county seat belonged to their town. After a long fight, Fort Worth gained the title in 1860 and construction began on a stone county courthouse. After a delay due to the Civil War, the courthouse was completed in the 1870s.

Fort Worth had slaves in its antebellum period. In 1860, Tarrant County had 5,170 whites and 850 slaves. When the question came to secede from the Union, most citizens were for secession, and Tarrant County voted for disunion with the North. The effects of the Civil War and Reconstruction nearly wiped Fort Worth off the map during the 1860s. The city's population dropped as low as 175 and food, supply, and money shortages burdened the citizens. As the War's effects began to fade, so did the city's hardships, and it gradually began to revive itself into the 1870s. 

Fort Worth went from a sleepy outpost to a bustling town when it became a stop along the legendary Chisholm Trail, the dusty path on which millions of head of cattle were driven north to market. Fort Worth became the center of the cattle drives, and later, the ranching industry. Its location on the Old Chisholm Trail helped establish Fort Worth as a trading and cattle center and earned it the nickname "Cowtown".  Fort Worth had a knack for separating cattlemen from their money. Cowboys took full advantage of their last brush with civilization before the long drive on the Chisholm Trail from Fort Worth up north to Kansas. They stocked up on provisions from local merchants, visited the colorful saloons for a bit of gambling and carousing, then galloped northward with their cattle only to whoop it up again on their way back. 

The town soon became home to Hell's Half Acre, the biggest collection of bars, dance halls and bawdy houses south of Dodge City, Kansas (the northern terminus of the Chisholm Trail), giving Fort Worth the nickname of "The Paris of the Plains". Crime was rampant, and certain sections of town were off-limits for proper citizens. Shootings, knifings, muggings and brawls became a nightly occurrence. Cowboys were joined by a motley assortment of buffalo hunters, gunmen, adventurers, and crooks. As the importance of Fort Worth as a crossroads and cowtown grew, so did Hell's Half Acre.

A major reform campaign in the late 1880s was brought on by Mayor Broiles and County Attorney R. L. Carlock after two events. In the first of these, on February 8, 1887, Luke Short and Jim Courtright had a shootout on Main Street that left Courtright dead and Short the "King of Fort Worth Gamblers." Although the fight did not occur in the Acre, it focused public attention on the city's underworld. A few weeks later, a poor prostitute known only by the name of Sally was found murdered and nailed to an outhouse door in the Acre.

These two events, combined with the first prohibition campaign in Texas, helped to shut down the Acre's worst excesses in 1889. More than any other factor, urban growth began to improve the image of the Acre, as new businesses and homes moved into the south end of town.


Fort Worth's rough-and-tumble history as a frontier town, dusty and lawless, home to the brave and the brawling, the soldier, the frontiersman, the outlaw. has defined what the city is today. Cowboys and Culture isn't just a tagline, it's a way of life for the citizens and provides a completely unique guest experience. Nowhere else can you find the western heritage that is so quintessentially Texas, beautifully preserved and honored through the Stockyards National Historic District and Sundance Square in Downtown.

In contrast it's frontier past, the city now has a reputation for being safe and friendly and makes it a perfect getaway for families. The Fort Worth Zoo is a top five zoo in the nation and a national draw, and the proximity to major league attractions like Texas Motor Speedway, Rangers Ballpark, Cowboys Stadium and Six Flags makes it the perfect place to stay.

When the sun goes down, Fort Worth really comes alive. In downtown, Sundance Square provides sidewalks filled with people on the town, enjoying the many Fort Worth nightlife opportunities such as nightclubs, restaurants, movies and live theaters. In the Stockyards District, there's always plenty of fun brewing in the Western-style saloons. And Billy Bob's Texas, voted country music's club of the year a whopping 11 times, hosts the biggest names in the business every weekend, and has live bull-riding shows on Friday and Saturday night. Merle Haggard set a world record here when he bought the entire club a round of drinks. Life as a country-music fan is not complete unless you've visited the "World's Largest Honky-Tonk," where legends are made. Fort Worth nightlife also has a proud musical tradition. Across the city, you'll find national and local acts performing in a wide variety of venues — from roadhouses to refined concert halls.

Fort Worth is also a simply super place to shop. The city offers something for every taste and budget, making it one of the Southwest's finest destinations for shopping. With national department stores, one-of-a-kind boutiques, upscale shops and antique stores offering everything from authentic Western gear to the latest fashions, Fort Worth shopping has it all. The city is also home to some of the best malls in North Texas.

Sundance Square


                                                        Fort Worth’s Top 5:
       
  1. The Tarrant County Courthouse, part of the Tarrant County government campus, was designed by the architecture firm of Frederick C. Gunn & Louis Curtiss and built by the Probst Construction Company of Chicago, 1893-1895. This pink Texas granite building, in Renaissance Revival style, closely resembles the Texas State Capitol with the exception of the clock tower. The cost was $408,840 USD and citizens considered it such a public extravagance that a new County Commissioners' Court was elected in 1894. The Tarrant County Courthouse currently houses the Tarrant County clerk's office, probate and county courts at law, a law library, and the Tarrant County facilities management department.
  2. The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is located on 1600 Gendy Street, in the city's Cultural District. It was opened in 1945 as the Fort Worth Children's Museum and moved to its current location in 1954. In 1968, the museum adopted its current name. Attractions at the museum include the Noble Planetarium and the Omni Theater, with a Star's Cafe and A Shop Too! Gift Shop, in addition to both traveling and permanent science and history exhibits. In the fall of 2007, the museum was closed for renovations. The entire museum was moved into a new building at the same site in 2009. The new building, was designed by architects Legorreta + Legorreta with Gideon Toal and consists of 166,000 square feet. The total maximum occupancy is 3,369 individuals. The museum's grand opening after renovations was on Friday, November 20, 2009.
  3. Ball-Eddleman-McFarland House Built in 1899, Ball-Eddleman-McFarland House is Fort Worth's premier example of Queen Anne-style Victorian architecture. Turrets, gables, copper finials, a slate tile roof and a porch of red sandstone and marble highlight the late-Victorian exterior. The interior includes original ornate oak mantles, cornices, coffered ceilings, paneling and parquet floors. The house is available for individual and group tours.
  4. Log Cabin Village.  Experience the sights, sounds and smells of 19th-century Texas! Nestled on three acres, Log Cabin Village consists of nine historic structures dating back to the mid-1800s. Texas history comes to life through the authentic log homes and artifacts, blacksmith shop, one-room schoolhouse, smokehouse, water-powered gristmill and herb garden. Interact with historical interpreters as they demonstrate various frontier chores like candle making, spinning and weaving.
  5. Sundance Square is the name of an area in downtown Fort Worth. Named after the Sundance Kid in western folklore, it is a popular place for nightlife and entertainment in Fort Worth and for tourists visiting the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. The area includes numerous hotels, restaurants, condos, lofts, shops, museums, bars, clubs, movie theatres, performing arts, concerts and festivals throughout the year. The former downtown Woolworth's Building, as well as Burk Burnett Building], are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A mural on one building commemorates the Fort Worth segment of the Chisholm Trail cattle drives of 1867-1875.




References: http://www.fortworth.com
                 http://fortworthtexas.gov/


Saturday, 19 May 2012

Escondido

Escondido





Escondido is a city occupying a shallow valley ringed by rocky hills, just north of the city of San Diego, California. Founded in 1888, it is one of the oldest cities in San Diego County. 

The Escondido area was first settled by the Luiseño, who established campsites and villages along the creek running through the area. They named the place "Mehel-om-pom-pavo." The Kumeyaay migrated from areas near the Colorado River, settling both in the San Pasqual Valley and near the San Dieguito River in the southwestern and western portions of what is now Escondido. Most of the villages and campsites today have been destroyed by development and agriculture.

Spain controlled the land from the late 18th century to the early 19th century, and established many missions in California to convert the indigenous people. When Mexico gained its independence from Spain, the local land was divided into large ranchos. Most of what is now Escondido occupies the former Rancho Rincon del Diablo ("Devil's Corner"), a Mexican land grant given to Juan Bautista Alvarado (not the governor of the same name) in 1843 by Governor Manuel Micheltorena. Alvarado was a Regidor of Los Angeles at the time, and the first Regidor of the pueblo of San Diego. The southern part of Escondido occupies the former Rancho San Bernardo, granted in 1842 and 1845.


Daley Ranch
In 1846, during the Mexican-American War, the Battle of San Pasqual was fought southeast of Escondido. This battle pitted Mexican forces under Andrés Pico (brother of then-California-governor Pío Pico) against Americans under Stephen W. Kearny, Archibald Gillespie, and Kit Carson. A park in Escondido is named for Carson. 

In 1853, pro-Southern Copperheads proposed dividing the state of California to create a new Territory of Colorado (at this time the territory that would become the state of Colorado was named "Jefferson"). San Diego Judge Oliver S. Witherby suggested placing the capitol of the new territory in Rancho Rincon del Diablo.

The city was home to a large Spanish-speaking population in the first census, in 1850, but after the U.S. won the war, non-Hispanic settlers came to Southern California in increasing numbers. The decade of the 1880s is known as the "Southern California Land Boom" because so many people moved to the state.

In October 1883, a group of Los Angeles investors purchased Rancho Rincon del Diablo. This group sold the land to the newly formed Escondido Company in 1884. On December 18, 1885, investors incorporated the Escondido Land and Town Company, and in 1886 this company purchased the 12,814-acre (52 km2) area for approximately $100,000. Two years later, in 1888, Escondido was incorporated as a city; the vote was 64 in favor of cityhood with 12 votes against. Railroads such as the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific were laid in the 1880s. The opening of U.S. Route 395 in 1930 boosted economic growth in Escondido.


Escondido was primarily an agricultural community, growing muscat grapes initially. After a dam was built in 1894-5 to form what is known today as Lake Wohlford, orange and lemon trees were planted in large numbers, as were olive and walnut trees. By the 1960s avocados became the largest local crop. Since the 1970s, Escondido has lost most of its agricultural land to housing developments.

Escondido's easily accessible location and variety of retail options make it the perfect place to shop. From eclectic one-of-a-kind boutiques Downtown to major national stores, variety abounds for all ages, tastes and budgets. Westfield North County regional shopping center is a shopping destination. The Center is planning a significant expansion to its already one million plus square foot space, providing even more retail options in the not-too-distant future.




                                                        Escondido’s Top 5:
       
  1. Escondido City Hall. Completed in 1988, City Hall was the first phase of the Escondido Civic Center. The building won many prestigious awards, including the Urban Land Institute Award for Excellence in 1989. City Hall represents innovative, functional, state-of-the-art, cost-effective solutions to many specific City needs. City Hall was designed with an anticipation of the future, as well as an appreciation of the past, and is a superb example of how architecture can reflect the heart of the community and inspire civic pride. 
  2. California Center for the ArtsThe Center Museum, widely recognized as one of San Diego County’s premier visual arts venues, features three galleries, a sculpture court, secure collections storage and receiving areas, administrative offices, and a Museum Store. The Museum’s indoor exhibition space totals 9,000 square feet. Each gallery has varying ceiling configurations and heights ranging from 19 to 35 feet, skylights with controlled access for natural light, and 24-hour computerized environmental and security controls. The Center Museum’s program of traveling and original exhibitions includes thematic and historic shows, as well as solo artist and group shows. This range of contextual exhibitions helps visitors see how historical works relate to present-day artistic and cultural concerns, and vice-versa. Since 1994, The Center Museum has organized more than seventy-five exhibitions and published thirteen catalogues.
  3. Daley Ranch is located in the northeastern portion of the City of Escondido, north of Dixon Lake and west of Valley Center Road. Access is provided via La Honda Drive to the south, Valley Center Road to the east, and Cougar Pass Road to the west. The hills and valleys of what is now known as Daley Ranch were frequented for centuries by Native Californians of the Kumeyaay, Luiseño, and other local tribes. Evidence of their passing can be seen in the soot-stained ceilings of boulder caves where these early Californians took refuge from the elements. Metates and morteros, holes ground into boulder tops, give evidence of food preparation by women who gathered together to grind seeds and acorns. The first European settler to arrive in this valley was a young English immigrant named Robert Daley. He settled into this valley in 1869 and built a small log cabin. This cabin now sits at the bottom of one of the ranch's ponds. After a federal survey of the land in 1875, Robert Daley's claim to the land was reaffirmed and he was granted two officials claims of 1,600 acres each. A few years later, he moved to a small tongue and groove pine house, which still stands on a knoll across from the existing Daley ranch house. The Daley family farmed, raised horses, and continued to acquire land.
  4. Queen Califia's Magical Circle is the only American sculpture garden and the last major international project created by Niki de Saint Phalle (born France, 1930-2002). Inspired by California's mythic, historic and cultural roots, the garden consists of nine large-scale sculptures, a circular "snake wall" and maze entryway, sculpturally integrated bench seating, and native shrubs and trees planted within the interior plaza and along the outer perimeter. The garden bears the brilliant, unique mosaic ornamentation that is an unmistakable part of Saint Phalle's later work. Queen Califia's Magical Circle is situated within a 12-acre natural habitat in the Iris Sankey Arboretum in Kit Carson Park on a parcel of land donated by the City of Escondido. The park's entrance is located five minutes from I-15 (Via Rancho Parkway Exit) at the corner of Bear Valley Parkway and Mary Lane.
  5. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park, formerly known as the San Diego Wild Animal Park, is a zoo in the San Pasqual Valley area near Escondido. It is one of the largest tourist attractions in San Diego County. The park houses a large array of wild and endangered animals including species from the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Australia. The park is in a semi-arid environment and one of its most notable features is the Africa Tram which explores the expansive African exhibits. These free-range enclosures house such animals as antelopes, giraffes, buffalo, cranes, and rhinos. The park is also noted for its California condor breeding program, the most successful such program in the United States. The park, visited by 2 million people annually, has an area of 1,800 acres (730 ha) and, in 2005, housed 3,000 animals of more than 400 species plus 3,500 species of unique plants.




Intrepid Travel (Intrepid Guerba)