Fort Meigs  //  Perrysburg  //  Ohio  //  USA

Fort Meigs is the largest reconstructed wooden-walled fort in the nation. 

Fort Meigs was used to defend Ohio during the War of 1812. The British army failed to take the Fort during the Siege of Fort Meigs.

The grounds and blockhouses are full of interactive historical exhibits from wartime medical treatments and “Spin the Wheel to Find Out What Disease You Would Have Died From” to cannons and punishment stockades. 

At the center of its walls is an obelisk monument, dedicated in 1908, in honor of fallen soldiers at Fort Meigs.

There is a great museum of historical artifacts, fun costumes and cutouts for photo-ops, and guides in period costumes re-enacting wartime customs.

And if you luck out you may even get to witness re-enactors demonstrate old-timey muskets.

This is a great day trip and a fascinating look into a part of Ohio’s history.

Schoolhouse Restaurant  //  Camp Dennison  //  Ohio  //  USA

Built in the 1860s, during the Civil War, this schoolhouse was the first in the Midwest to have a second floor.

The Camp Dennison School was in operation from 1864 through 1954.

It was later turned into a restaurant with home-style cooking and the schoolroom decor and atmosphere remaining intact.

Fun Fact: The restaurant is located just off the Loveland Bike Trail, a section off of the 78-mile Little Miami Bike Trail.

Hale Farm & Village  //  Cuyahoga Valley National Park  //  Ohio  //  USA

This 1800s-era farm is a living history museum with 32 structures that showcases 19th century living with crafts and crafting workshops, farming lifestyle demonstrations, gardens, and farm animals.

Kiawah Island  //  South Carolina  //  USA

Cuyahoga Valley National Park  //  Ohio  //  USA

Staten Island Ferry  //  New York City  //  New York  //  USA

The Staten Island Ferry has been in operation since 1905 and currently carries over 23 million passengers annually.

It runs every 30 minutes for most hours of the day and night and is free to all passengers.

The Staten Island Ferry is a great way to see the Statue of Liberty. I was there at sunset, which I highly recommend, during the summer. 

Getting to see Lady Liberty along the glistening water on a relaxing and peaceful ferry ride, while reflecting on my ancestors’ passage through Ellis Island, was truly an emotional and unforgettable moment.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park  //  Ohio  //  USA

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens  //  Charleston  //  South Carolina  //  USA

The famous long white bridge of the Magnolia Plantation is like a dream out of a Nicolas Sparks or Nora Ephron novel.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park  //  Tennessee  //  USA

Blue Hen Falls  //  Cuyahoga Valley National Park  //  Ohio  //  USA

Located on the Buckeye Trail, this waterfall is quaint and picturesque.

NBC Studios and The Rainbow Room  //  RockefelleR Center  //  New York City  //  New York  //  USA

Ask anyone and they'll tell you that Rockefeller Center is quintessential New York City.

The Rainbow Room is perhaps one of the most famous clubs in the history of NYC. This old-school jazz and supper club was built in 1934 on the 65th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Generations of performers have played the room from Broadway crooners to internationally famous lounge singers, including the likes of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, and Michael Feinstein.

30 Rock also houses NBC studios, home to the famous Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live.

The 30 Rock Plaza is perhaps most known in the winter for its ice skating rink.

Katz’s Deli  //  New York City  //  New York  //  USA

“I’ll have what she’s having.”

Katz’s Delicatessen is a legendary Jewish deli that has served New York City since 1888.

They are most famous for their pastrami and corned beef and for being the site of the famed When Harry Met Sally movie scene.

Sandwiches so good they’ll make you shout “YES! YES! YES!”

No NYC trip is complete without a trip to this classic institution.

The Plaza  //  New York City  //  New York  //  USA

The Plaza is perhaps one of the most iconic, historic, and famous hotels in the world.

The French Renaissance château-style building was designed by Henry Hardenbergh and opened to the public on October 1, 1907. 

The hotel has played host to many famous faces and has been romanticized in countless movies, including North by Northwest, Barefoot in the Park, Funny Girl, The Way We Were, Arthur, Eloise, Home Alone 2, Sleepless in Seattle, and Almost Famous.

You can’t take a trip to NYC without popping in to The Plaza for a peak.

Ohio  //  USA

MoMA  //  New York City  //  New York  //  USA

The Museum of Modern Art was created in 1929 and has been expanded many times since its opening.

MoMA houses 200,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, media and performance art works, architectural models and drawings, design objects, and films.

The library holds over 320,000 items, including books, artists’ books, periodicals, and files on more than 90,000 artists. 

Their archives contain research material on modern art and curatorial departments with study centers available to students, scholars, and researchers.

MoMA itself is an artistic and architectural modern masterpiece. 

Give yourself a good portion of a day to be able to see MoMA.

Ledges Trail and Overlook  //  Cuyahoga Valley National Park  //  Ohio  //  USA

Ledges Trail is a stunning 2.2 mile loop trail, particularly in the fall, with a breathtaking overlook. 

During your hike you will encounter amazing rock ledges and crevices of varying earthy colors covered in lush green moss. 

Hike down below the cracks and you will stumble upon the rocky caverns of Ice Box Cave. It is significantly colder within the crevices underneath the ledges, hence the name: Ice Box.

Kiawah Island  //  South Carolina  //  USA

Serendipity  //  New York City  //  New York  //  USA

Serendipity is famous for one thing. Three words: Frozen. Hot. Chocolate.

Nothing better on a hot summer day in NYC…To die for!

Ohio  //  USA

Bethesda Fountain  //  Central Park  //  New York City  //  New York  //  USA

Bethesda Fountain, located in the stunning Bethesda Terrace, is one of the most famous and recognizable landmarks in Central Park. 

It was constructed between 1859 and 1864.

The pool is centered by a fountain sculpture designed by Emma Stebbins. Stebbins was the first woman to receive a public commission for a major work of art in New York City. The statue, named the Angel of the Waters, depicts a winged angel surrounded by four cherubs representing Temperence, Purity, Health, and Peace. The pool gets its name from the parable of the paralytic and the healing waters at Bethesda.

The base of the fountain was designed by the architect of the majority of Central Park, Calvert Vaux, with details by Jacob Mould. 

The fountain is shown and referenced many times in pop culture. 

It was used in countless movies, such as Romeo and Juliet, Godspell, Home Alone 2, Elf, Enchanted, and The Avengers, and in many TV shows, such as Gossip Girl and Doctor Who.

World’s Fair Sunsphere  //  Knoxville  //  Tennessee  //  USA

You can’t go to Knoxville without visiting the World’s Fair Sunsphere. 

The top of the sphere offers a 360 degree view of the 1982 World’s Fair Park in Knoxville, the Tennessee River, the University of Tennessee, and the Smoky Mountains.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park  //  Tennessee  //  USA

New York Stock Exchange  //  New York City  //  New York  //  USA

The NYSE was founded on May 17th, 1792. Twenty-four stockbrokers signed the Buttonwood Agreement on Wall Street in New York City. 

They met beneath a Buttonwood tree and formed an exchange market for the United States — used frequently for wheat, tobacco and other commodities — that eliminated the need for auctioneers.

Everett Covered Bridge  //  Cuyahoga Valley National Park  //  Ohio  //  USA

The Everett Covered Bridge was built in the 19th century. 

Covered bridges are truss bridges with support coming from a framework of beams. 

This bridge was essential for transportation and the shipping of goods and supplies to and from the Ohio & Erie Canal.

The Village  //  Great Smoky Mountains National Park  //  Tennessee  //  USA

The Village is a quaint European-themed little hamlet of shops, eateries, and boutiques nestled near the entrance of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine Distillery  //  Great Smoky Mountains National Park  //  Tennessee  //  USA

Visit the distillery and learn how they make old southern moonshine.

Fort Sumter  //  Charleston  //  South Carolina  //  USA

After years of strife between the North and South, war erupted on April 12, 1861. The Battle of Fort Sumter was the first battle of the Civil War. 

Fort Sumter is incredibly cool! 

Enjoy a short beautiful ferry ride to the island, explore within the fort walls, pose with a few cannons, and listen to the fascinating guided ranger history tour.

Interesting tidbit: There is a cannonball from the Civil War that is still lodged in the fort’s wall.

Mingus Mill  //  Great Smoky Mountains National Park  //  Tennessee  //  USA

Mingus Mill was built in 1886 and is located a half-mile north of the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. The historic mill uses a water-powered turbine instead of a water wheel to power its machinery. The grist mill produces cornmeal and other milled items.

Stanford Trail  //  Cuyahoga Valley National Park  //  Ohio  //  USA

Buckeye Trail  //  Cuyahoga Valley National Park  //  Ohio //  USA

The Buckeye Trail is a 1,444-mile loop that winds its way around Ohio, with 37 miles of the trail housed within The Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

I recommend hiking a good portion of this trail. It is challenging, quiet, and scenic. Absolutely stunning in the fall.

Definitely stop at some of the awesome landmarks along the trail including, The Boston Store, Station Road Bridge, and Blue Hen Falls.

Kaminsky’s  //  Charleston  //  South Carolina  //  USA

Want a cozy spot to enjoy a cup of tea or a cocktail and a DELICIOUS dessert?

Look no further than Kaminsky’s.

I highly recommend their chocolate berry pie.

Lola  //  East 4th Street  //  Cleveland  //  Ohio  //  USA

One of the best restaurants in Cleveland is Michael Symon’s Lola located on East 4th street, a dining and entertainment hotspot in downtown Cleveland. 

Eat Lola’s beef cheek pierogies and truffle fries and your life as you know it will never be the same. So good!

Ohio  //  USA

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens  //  Charleston  //  South Carolina  //  USA

Charleston City Market  //  Charleston  //  South Carolina  //  USA

In 1788, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney gave land to the City of Charleston to be used exclusively as a public market for eternity, per his stipulation.

Covered marketplace outbuildings that stretch from Market Hall to the waterfront were built between 1804 and the 1830s. 

Of all the local crafts and items in the market the coolest, in my opinion, are the cookbooks with old traditional Charleston society recipes and the famous sweetgrass weaved baskets, customary in the Gullah culture.

The Charleston City Market is one of the oldest of its kind in the country.

Alum Cave Trail  //  Great Smoky Mountains National Park  //  Tennessee  //  USA

At 1.4 miles from the trailhead, you will reach Arch Rock, the first trail landmark. Past Arch Rock the trail ascends towards Alum Cave, a concave bluff, which is 2.3 miles from the start. 

Mt. LeConte is the peak summit of the mountain at 6,593 feet elevation. The top is where you will find a stunning vista view and The Leconte Lodge, only accessible by hiking from the bottom. The lodge has been around for more than 80 years.

Apple Barn and Orchard  //  Great Smoky Mountains National Park  //  Tennessee  //  USA

Apple fritters and apple julep! Yum!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park  //  Tennessee  //  USA

Rosebay rhododendron is the most common rhododendron in the Smokies.

Sprinkles Cupcakes  //  New York City  //  New York  //  USA

The best red velvet cupcakes ever!

The Golden Lamb  //  Lebanon  //  Ohio  //  USA

Established in 1803, The Golden Lamb Inn is the oldest hotel in Ohio. 

The inn was named as such because of the golden lamb symbol which appeared on their sign to benefit the illiterate.

Many famous and important individuals have stayed at The Golden Lamb, including Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and twelve American Presidents.

Staten Island Ferry  //  New York City  //  New York  //  USA

Kiawah Island  //  South Carolina  //  USA

The Salty Dog Cafe • Harbour Town • Hilton Head Island • South Carolina • USA

Are you really a tourist in Hilton Head if you don’t go to The Salty Dog?


JFK International Airport • New York City • New York • USA

On December 24, 1963, Idlewild Airport was rededicated John F. Kennedy International Airport in memory of the nation’s 35th president.

Blue Ridge Parkway  //  Great Smoky Mountains National Park  //  Tennessee  //  USA

A stunning 469-mile drive with gorgeous vistas and overlooks and phenomenal landscape views of the Appalachian Mountains.

New York City  //  New York  //  USA

Pineapple Fountain  //  Charleston  //  South Carolina  //  USA

Pineapples are a symbol for hospitality, so there is no better symbol for the southern charm of Charleston than the famous Pineapple Fountain located in Waterfront Park.

Take a photo and dip your toes in the water.

Kilwins  //  Great Smoky Mountains National Park  //  Tennessee  //  USA

One of my favorite ice cream shops!

In the Clouds • USA

Tupelo Honey Cafe • Knoxville • Tennessee • USA

Mmmmm…Biscuits and honey!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park • Tennessee • USA

The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel is 200 feet high, has amazing views of the mountains, and boasts a colorful light show at night.

Angel Oak Tree  //  Johns Island  //  Charleston  //  South Carolina  //  USA

The Angel Oak Tree in Charleston is the oldest living organism east of the Mississippi, with an estimated age between 400 and 500 years old. This fairytale-like tree stands 6 stories tall and is 17,000 square feet in size.

Definite photo op stop!

Times Square  //  New York City  //  New York  //  USA

Ohio  //  USA

Strawberry Fields  //  Central Park  //  New York City  //  New York  //  USA

The Imagine memorial mosaic is a must-see in Central Park. 

Located across from The Dakota, Strawberry Fields is 2.5-acres within the park dedicated to the memory of former Beatle, John Lennon.

The Donut Friar  //  Gatlinburg  //  Great Smoky Mountains National Park  //  Tennessee  //  USA

Fresh hot donuts in the heart of the mountains! Yum!

Chimney Tops Trailhead  //  Great Smoky Mountains National Park  //  Tennessee  //  USA

Times Square  //  New York City  //  New York  //  USA

In 1904, Times Square acquired its name when Albert Ochs, publisher of The New York Times, moved the newspaper’s headquarters to Times Tower on 43rd just off Broadway. The square in front of the building was originally called Longacre Square, but was soon renamed Times Square. The name is now used for the famous area between 40th street and 53rd street and 6th avenue and 9th avenue.

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens  //  Charleston  //  South Carolina  //  USA

Founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, Magnolia Plantation has been a part of our country’s history since before the American Revolution. It is the oldest public tourist site in the Lowcountry area and holds the oldest public gardens in America. 

In 1870, they opened their doors to visitors. 

The main house is an architectural masterpiece, the grounds are truly breathtaking, and the gardens have been voted most beautiful in the country on multiple occasions. 

One of the most unique and interesting fun facts about the plantation is the fact that the ashes of one of the family ancestors, John Dayton Hastie, was buried within a 300-year-old oak tree on the grounds.

Harbour Town Lighthouse  //  Harbour Town  //  Hilton Head Island  //  South Carolina  //  USA

This lighthouse is four decades old and serves as the symbolic landmark for Hilton Head.  It is a beacon for the Yacht Basin and has the prettiest view of the ocean on the island.

I highly recommend going at sunset!

‘A Christmas Story’ House  //  Cleveland  //  Ohio  //  USA

This 19th-century Victorian was used in the exterior scenes of the movie A Christmas Story.  The inside has been restored to an exact movie replica and is open to freely roam and explore…and even for overnight stays! 

The great thing about the house is the amazing attention to detail and the fact that they allow you to interact with the house by posing and taking as many photos as you want. They even have costumes and props to use.

Across the street is the museum which has amazing behind the scenes photos and information and the exact memorabilia used in the movie.

Just make sure you don’t shoot your eye out!

Harbour Town  //  Hilton Head Island  //  South Carolina  //  USA

Harbour Town is the fun heart of Hilton Head boasting a gorgeous lighthouse and the best entertainment and dining on the island.

Husk  //  Charleston  //  South Carolina  //  USA

Owned by James Beard Award-winning chef Sean Brock, this Charleston restaurant is located in a historic downtown home and is known for unique gourmet low-country cuisine and local seasonal ingredients.

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies  //  Gatlinburg  //  Great Smoky Mountains National Park  //  Tennessee  //  USA

Ripley’s Aquarium in the Smokies has over 10,000 creatures and 350 species. This is one of my favorite aquariums.

They have amazing glass underwater tunnels to view the sharks and stingrays, an incredible interactive penguin exhibit, and you can even touch a jellyfish!

Whit’s Frozen Custard  //  Mt. Vernon  //  Ohio  //  USA

Chimney Tops Trailhead  //  Great Smoky Mountains National Park  //  Tennessee  //  USA

This challenging 3.8-mile roundtrip trail climbs past rustic footbridges, crystal-clear streams, and a steep rate of elevation to venture to the top lookout of the summit.

The Wild Plum Tea Room  //  Great Smoky Mountains National Park  //  Tennessee  //  USA

Located in the historic Arts and Crafts Village of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, The Wild Plum is modeled after the teahouses in the mountains of Austria and is known for, you guessed it, plum tea, served hot or cold.

Their warm ambiance and creative gourmet menu make this tea room a quaint little hamlet in America’s most popular national park.

Brandywine Falls  //  Cuyahoga Valley National Park  //  Ohio  //  USA

Brandywine Falls Trail  //  Cuyahoga Valley National Park  //  Ohio  //  USA

Brandywine Falls is a gorgeous hidden gem of Ohio, located in the only national park in the state, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. 

The beautiful sandstone and shales have been shaped over time by the water from the Brandywine Creek, creating a 65-foot layered cascading waterfall.

The 1.5 mile Brandywine Gorge Trail which leads to the falls boasts beautiful maples and hemlocks.

I highly recommend Cuyahoga in the fall. 

Truly stunning.

Boone Hall Plantation  //  Charleston   //   South Carolina   //   USA

Boone Hall Plantation was founded in 1681 when Englishman Major John Boone came to Charleston. It has been open to the public since 1956 and it is also one of America’s oldest working farms. 

The Boone Hall Plantation is famous for the stunning lane of live oaks that frame its entrance and for being a filming site for the movies, ‘Gone with the Wind’ and ‘The Notebook.’

The stunning main house is rich in history and the grounds of this still-functioning farm look like something out of a storybook.

I highly recommend walking through the original slave quarters and staying for the fascinating Gullah cultural presentation.

Farmers Market  //  Knoxville  //  Tennessee  //  USA

Held on Saturdays from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm, Knoxville hosts one of my all-time favorite farmers’ markets. 

Located in the heart of Knoxville in Market Square, this market has local vendors who provide fruits, vegetables, eggs, honey, herbs, pasture-raised meat, bread, baked goods, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and even artisan crafts.

The market runs through the months of May to November. Definitely give it a visit if you’re in Knoxville.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park  //  Tennessee  //  USA

 Cincinnati  //  Ohio  //  USA

Check out my latest BuzzFeed article about unique, local eats in my hometown, Cincinnati!

It includes my personal photography.

New York City  //  New York  //  USA

1,576 stairs. 102 stories. 73 elevators. 2 obeservation decks. 

1 amazing 360 degree view of NYC.

Be sure to get an express pass before you go. You will save yourself money and a TON of wait time.

And I would highly suggest you go on a clear day before sunset. Then, you can stay and check out the view in sunlight, at sunset, and after dark. Stunning.

Harry Potter World  //  Orlando  //  Florida  //  USA

Wands! Brooms! And Butterbeer! OH MY!

If Harry Potter was your childhood, you will probably cry the first time you go to Harry Potter World, like myself. Just beholding the Hogwarts castle with the swell of John Williams in the background is a magical experience.

Behind the castle gates, you can buy Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Botts Beans from Honeydukes, drink Butterbeer at the Leaky Cauldron, tour Hogwarts castle, and fly with Harry through the grounds in the Forbidden Journey ride.

And, if you’re lucky, you could be chosen by Ollivander to receive a wand. It happened to me and I almost died.

Accio Vacation!

New York City  //  New York  //  USA