Attractions, Activities, and Services Reviews


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2017


Boise Public Library; 715 S. Capitol Blvd, Boise, ID 83702-7123; 208-384-4076; www.boisepubliclibrary.org
Great Staff and Spring & Fall Book Sales reviewed November 27, 2017
I’m not able to do much consistent volunteering given all the travels I do. But the one thing I try to make sure I do each Spring & Fall is to volunteer at the Friends of the Public Library book sales here in Boise! The deals are amazing on great books, records, posters, etc., and it’s fun to see some of the same people come in for each sale. The library staff and volunteers are super people, and the sales raise a large sum that goes to further the growth of the libraries around the city!
Rating: 5 Stars

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Atomic Bomb Dome; 1-10 Otemachi Naka-ku, Hiroshima 730-0051, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan; +81 90-5880-8705; AtomicBombDome
An Amazing Reminder on Why War IS Hell reviewed November 27, 2017
I’ve been to Nagasaki many times on cruise ships, but this was my first trip to Hiroshima. Going to the Peace Memorial Park was a great experience to see so many school children there on field trips, and to read the stories behind the markers, plaques, buildings, memorials, etc. The Atomic Bomb Dome was previously the Prefecture’s Promotion Hall (Tourism Bureau).
When the Atomic Bomb exploded about 500 feet away at an altitude of about 2,000 feet on August 6, 1945, the explosion was almost directly overhead, which allowed the building to stay mostly intact. All the occupants inside, however, were killed immediately. The building was registered in 1996 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Here is a reminder that war is Hell, and that peace is good.
Rating: 5 Stars

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Memorial Steeple; Nakajimacho Naka-ku, Hiroshima 730-0811, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan; +81 82-504-2390
Not Much to see, But Historically Significant reviewed November 27, 2017
The signs actually call this the Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound, the place where cremated remains from the bombing were laid to rest. You will often see people chanting and praying here for the dead. It’s not in the most conspicuous place, but it’s near the Peace Bell. They hold a memorial service here every year and people bring paper cranes and other signs representing peace.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Peace Clock Tower; 1 Nakajimacho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima 730-0811, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan
Another Symbol for Peace reviewed November 27, 2017
The Peace Clock Tower is at the far end of the Peace Memorial Park. Every morning the clock rings bells at 8:15, the time of the first atomic bomb’s explosion on August 6, 1945. The twisting nature of the skeleton is reminiscent of the twisted steel structures that resulted from the bomb. When you get close, you see that the clock is a Seiko-brand watch.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Peace Flame; 1-2 Nakajimacho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima 730-0730, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan
Eternal Flame of Peace is Always Lit reviewed November 27, 2017
The Peace Flame in the Peace Memorial Park is in the middle of an artistically designed structure that sits in a reflecting pool. The pool runs parallel to the neighboring river and it extends from the Cenotaph near the Peace Memorial Hall. The flame is not very high, so it’s not the most visible especially on a bright sunny day.
Rating: 5 Stars

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Peace Bell; 1 Nakajimacho Naka-ku, Hiroshima 730-0811, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan; +81 82-504-2390
Let the Sound of Peace Be Heard Around the World reviewed November 27, 2017
As you walk around the expansive Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, you won’t need a sign to tell you where the Peace Bell is. At least two people from every tour group go up the steps and ring the bell. I was by myself, and I rang it! It is a beautiful sound, and the thought of its being the sound of peace is comforting.
Rating: 5 Stars

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Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims; 1-6 Nakajimacho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima 730-0811, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan; +81 82-543-6271
A Moving Tribute to Lives Lost reviewed November 27, 2017
Walking down the ramp inside this Memorial Hall isn’t enough to prepare you for the devastation that you see from the photographs after the bombing. You can look up victims by name if you are a relative or know of someone who was killed by the bomb. The visitors inside were respectful and quiet while walking around. The 360 degree panoramic view of the area gives you quite the perspective of the damage. as you leave, you walk up the stairs next to a rippling waterfall that is calm and peaceful.
There is no admission charge to walk through the hall.
Rating: 5 Stars

View my brief YouTube video of the waterfall that’s just outside the Memorial Hall.

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Children’s Peace Monument; Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan
Simple Yet Elegant Memorial to Children Killed by Bomb reviewed November 27, 2017
The Children’s Peace Monument is the first exhibit you see when you cross the bridge from the A-Bomb Dome area. The crane on top of the young child at the top represents the desire for peace as well as a recognition and memorial to the children lost in the bombing. It’s heartwarming to see so many school children listening to the stories (and so well behaved and mannered!).
Rating: 5 Stars

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Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park; 1-2 Nakajimacho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima 730-0811, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan; +81 82-242-7798; Peace Memorial Park and Museum website
Large and Impressive Memorial Area — You MUST Visit! reviewed November 27, 2017
I’ve been to the Peace Park in Nagasaki, Japan, many times, but this was the first time I’d been in Hiroshima. After a bus ride to the train station, I took a 25-minute ride to the Peace Memorial Park area (the stop is labeled for the A-Bomb Dome), and then spent several hours walking around, reading signs and looking at many of the exhibits.
I enjoyed seeing many groups of school children being led around the park. There was one place I was looking at, and I heard a female Japanese tour guide explaining it to the couple she was guiding. She then took the time to come to me and explain it to me in perfect English.I was overcome by her amazing kindness. I was able to bow and say, “Arigato” to her — and that brought a smile to her face.
Visiting this Peace Memorial Park is an absolute must; there are so many things to see and stories to read.
Rating: 5 Stars

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Aoiumi Park; Yasukata, Aomori, Aomori Prefecture, Japan
Calm and Peaceful Waterfront Park reviewed November 24, 2017
Most cruise ship passengers get off the ship and walk right through Aoiumi park into town without realizing what they’re missing. While this park isn’t the most beautiful Japanese park I’ve seen as I cruise around the area, it has a calming nature to it and it’s worth spending some time in it. There are some sculptures, some water features, and some places to just sit and relax. You don’t need to spend a lot of time there, but you should slow down and enjoy it as you’re passing through.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Aomori Prefecture Tourist Center ASPAM; 1-1-40 Yasukata, Aomori 030-0803, Aomori Prefecture, Japan; +81 17-735-5311; Tourist Center website
Nice center but more interesting from outside reviewed November 24, 2017
The tourist center at the port of Aomori is a distinctive triangular shaped building that is easily recognizable. While the exhibits inside are nice, and informative, I think it’s the shape and location of the building that make it more interesting. The bulging out windows near the apex add an additional artistic element to the building.
What I do find sad is that the small glass-shaped pyramid building out front isn’t being used for any function. That would be an ideal location for tourist booths, coupons, etc.
Rating: 3 Stars

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Seikan Ferry Memorial Ship Hakkodamaru; 1-112-15 Yanakawa, Aomori 038-0012, Aomori Prefecture, Japan; +81 17-735-8150
In-depth history of the ferry service to Hakodate + train! reviewed November 24, 2017
The ship Hakkodamaru (“maru” means “ship” in Japanese) is a memorial museum to the ferry service between Aomori and Hakodate that was so critical to transportation and commerce between the two cities. The new bridge and tunnel have made ferry service impractical today. There is so much history contained in here that you can spend at least a half-day looking around. A highlight is the train track that was used to carry train cars between the islands. This ship is just a short walk from town or the port, so it’s worth a visit.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Nebuta Museum Wa Rasse; 1-1-1 Yasukata, Aomori 030-0803, Aomori Prefecture, Japan; +81 17-752-1311; www.nebuta.jp
Nice Museum; Interesting Exterior reviewed November 24, 2017
I’ve been inside the Nebuta Museum on previous visits to Aomori, so this time I was more interested in the exterior. The red vertical fins are designed to appear to be moving with the water or blowing in the wind. If you like design and art, I’d suggest a stroll around the exterior of the museum building and look at the various configurations of the fins.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Gukje Market; 38, Gukjesijang 2-gil, Jung-gu, Busan 48946, South Korea; +82 51-245-7389
Huge Outdoor Market With Thousands of Stalls reviewed November 23, 2017
The free shuttle bus from the port took the cruise ship passengers to the Gukje Market where we had several hours on our own. This market stretches for blocks and blocks in all directions, and you can find anything you’d need here. There were many locals shopping here for shoes, umbrellas, clothing items, hardware items, wrapping paper, and, of course, food.
I stopped at one stall and bought “something on a stick” that tasted nice. The lady tried to tell me what it was, but my lack of knowledge of the Korean language didn’t help. I smiled and mumbled out “Thank You” in Korean (I still have a problem with that one!), and then walked on.
The location of this market makes it a nice starting and stopping point for shopping in Busan. From here you can easily walk to the 13-story Lotte Department Store as well as to other markets.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Busan Port; Jung-gu, Busan, South Korea; 09051767615
Nice services for arriving cruise ship passengers reviewed November 23, 2017
The new port in Busan where the larger cruise ships dock is a vast improvement over the previous port. Next to the docked ship is a small Customs and Immigration building that has a shopping area plus free Wi-Fi. Each time we’ve been there, a “portable bank” has been set up in the parking lot for money exchange. This is a great place to exchange all of your leftover currencies from other SE Asia countries into the Korean Won.
Be careful, however, of people roaming the lot offering to exchange money from their wallet. I don’t have proof that it’s a scam, but why would they be there when an official bank is already there?
Rating: 4 Stars

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Nagasaki Seaside Park; 1-60 Tokiwamachi, Nagasaki 850-0843, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan; +81 95-818-8550
Nice, Peaceful Park Along the Harbor reviewed November 21, 2017
Most people just quickly pass by the Nagasaki Seaside Park as they’re speed walking to the the tram (as if the Peace Park won’t be there if they’re “late”). This park is a nice respite from the hustle of the day and from the cruise. There are many places to stop and sit and reflect on the beauty of the area and to be thankful for being able to travel. Stop here, even if it’s only for a few minutes — you’ll be glad you did!
Rating: 4 Stars

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Shinchi Chinatown; 12-7 Shinchimachi, Nagasaki 850-0842, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan
Small but Very Nice Chinatown in Historic City reviewed November 21, 2017
I’ve been to many Chinatowns all over the world. The Chinatown in Nagasaki isn’t very big, about three blocks square, but it’s VERY GOOD! There are many nice shops for all sorts of interesting and maybe even quirky items. The locals shop here also, so you know that the items are good and they’re priced fairly. It’s an easy walk from the cruise ship terminal; you can even stay on flat ground if you don’t want to be climbing any hills (such as the Hollander/Dutch Slope). This should be on your MUST VISIT list the next time you go to Nagasaki!
Rating: 5 Stars

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Dejima; 6-1 Dejimamachi, Nagasaki 850-0862, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan; +81 95-821-7200; ; ; nagasakidejima.jp/en
A Piece of Local History, but Not that Compelling reviewed November 21, 2017
I’ve been to Nagasaki five times on cruise ships, and when I first read about Dejima, I thought it would be really interesting. When I went there this last time, however, I was quite disappointed as it’s mostly just a tourist trap that charges admission. A truly historical area would be free and would provide valuable information. Sorry, this place just doesn’t do that (although I did see some people going inside the area).
Rating: 3 Stars

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Dutch Slope; Higashi-yamate-machi, Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan
Interesting History of the Area reviewed November 21, 2017
The history behind Dutch Slope (aka, Hollander Slope) is quite interesting. Many of the early Caucasian settlers were Dutch, and then it turns out that the locals would call ANY Caucasian Dutch because of the similar appearance. There are some old western style buildings that you can visit here, and there’s also a coffee shop where you can sit outside and enjoy the view. Once you are here, you can walk either toward Chinatown or toward the Glover Garden area.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Yokohama Port Osanbashi International Passenger Terminal; 1-1-4 Kaigandori, Naka-ku, Yokohama 231-0002, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan; +81 45-211-2304; osanbashi.jp/english
Convenient Location and Friendly Staff reviewed November 21, 2017
Our cruise ship had two stops in Yokohama no a recent set of voyages, and the convenience of the Osanbashi terminal made the visits even more enjoyable. The staff inside the terminal were very friendly, and the vicinity to the warehouses and shops in town was also nice. The artistic design of the exterior is pleasing on the eye, and it’s nice to see locals come by to see the ship.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse; 1-1-1 Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama 231-0001, Kanagawa Prefecture (Nishi-ku), Japan; +81 45-227-2002;
Great Shopping and Entertainment Venue reviewed November 21, 2017
Our ship stopped twice in Yokohama on a recent set of cruises, and I was able to see different sides of the warehouses. On the first visit, I went through the buildings and looked at the very interesting souvenir shops inside. The next time we were here there was a beer festival going on. Overall, this is a nice venue for shopping and for entertainment.
Rating: 4 Stars

See my blog post on the Yokohama Oktoberfest that I attended at the Red Brick Warehouses.

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Yokohama Stadium; Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture (Gu), Japan; +81 45-661-1251
Nice Stadium in the Center of City reviewed November 21, 2017
The Yokohama Stadium is a nice looking facility right in the middle of the city. It would be nice if it were open to visitors even when there’s not a game being played. I was able to see some of the outside as I walked by (and a few rows of seats as we looked from the top deck of the cruise ship). Maybe there’ll be a a game we can attend on our next stop!
Rating: 3 Stars

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Yokohama Bay Bridge; Daikokufuto Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama 230-0054, Kanagawa, Japan
An attractive bridge; our ship just made it under reviewed November 21, 2017
The captain of our cruise ship said we would have a five-foot clearance as we made our way under the Yokohama Bay Bridge on our recent visits there. As we went under, it looked closer than five feet, but I know he wouldn’t take any chances. We did have to wait in port one time for the tide to go out so we could leave. All in all, it’s a pretty sight to see as we sail away and say, “Sayonara, Yokohama.”
Rating: 4 Stars

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Kanemori Red Brick Warehouses; 14-12 Suehiro-cho, Hakodate 040-0053, Hokkaido, Japan; +81 138-27-5530; hakodate-kanemori.com/en
Lots to do here! reviewed November 21, 2017
The Red Brick Warehouses have a great history; the place where fishermen used to bring in their daily catch for selling and for storage. Today the warehouses have been converted into shops, restaurants, and the occasional beer hall. I really like that there is a fee-free currency exchange machine that gives you almost spot rate for your currency in exchange for the Japanese Yen. Plan to spend some time here on your next visit to Hakodate. You just might find that souvenir you were looking for!
Rating: 4 Stars

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Hakodate Meiji-kan; 12-12 Toyokawacho, Hakodate 040-0065, Hokkaido, Japan; +81 138-27-7070
Eclectic grouping of souvenir shops with nice items reviewed November 21, 2017
I’ve walked by this building on previous cruise ship stops in Hakodate. This time I decided to go in and look around. There are many interesting souvenir items for sale by various vendors, and they’re all very nice. I particularly liked the small souvenir items blown from glass. The historical items on the main floor are free to look at, but there is a charge if you want to go upstairs to look at some of the more interesting artifacts.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Hakodate Morning Market; JR Hakodate Station, Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan; +81 120-858-313
Seafood, just as the locals like it reviewed November 21, 2017
A trip through the Hakodate Morning Market is a MUST for any traveler to the port of Hakodate. Located just a few steps away from the main JR Train Station, this bustling area has the local fresh (and cooked) seafood that the locals are looking for. Fresh squid is a local delicacy, so you’ll see lots of it around. There’s also plenty of cooked crab, or you can get some fresh and cook it on your own. For the traveler (as I’ve been on my two stops in Hakodate), it’s best to walk through the market and then sit down in the restaurant area and treat yourself to a tasty delight!
Rating: 4 Stars

Even though it wasn’t at the Morning Market, and it was a year earlier, see my blog post about The Lady at the Sushi Restaurant whose natural instincts made me feel very comfortable in a place where I was the only non-local.

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Otaru Orgel Museum 2nd Building Antique; 6-13 Sakaimachi, Otaru 047-0027, Hokkaido, Japan; +81 134-34-3915; www.otaru-orgel.co.jp/english
Another Great Music Box Museum reviewed September 22, 2017
This is building #2 of the Music Box Museums on Sakaimachidori (the main shopping street) in Otaru. It is located right near lamp post 67 just a short distance from the Steam Clock and the Marchen Intersection. Check out the antique music boxes inside here, and listen to the delightful sounds coming from the many different types of the music boxes. Warning — if you stay inside for too long, you’re going to be tempted to buy at least one of them as a take-home present (not that it’s such a bad idea!).
Rating: 4 Stars

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Otaru Sakaimachi Street; Ironai, Otaru, Hokkaido, Japan; +81 134-27-1133
Popular Shopping Street, even with the locals! reviewed September 22, 2017
This is the main shopping area in Otaru. There are a couple other “shopping centers,” and covered streets, but Sakaimachidori is THE place to shop in Otaru. It’s so good that you will find yourself surrounded by many locals.
The first place to visit is the Tourist Information Center, which is adjacent to lamp post number 65 on the west side of the street. Yes, the lamp posts are numbered as reference locations. At the Information center, pick up a copy of the “Street Scene Map” which is actually a thick booklet with descriptions of everything along the street.
Then go walking strolling, and shopping. It’s a great way to spend a few hours in Otaru!
p.s. There’s free Wi-fi along the street.
Rating: 5 Stars (I had originally given this 4 stars; upon reflection, however, I decided it deserved all 5!

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Otaru Orgel Museum Main Building; 4-1 Sumiyoshicho, Otaru 047-0015, Hokkaido, Japan; +81 134-22-1108
Music Box Museum is Worth the Stop reviewed September 22, 2017
This is a great place to begin your journey down Otaru’s famed shopping street, Sakaimachidori. The 1994 gift of a Steam Clock from Vancouver, B.C., Canada, is right outside, and the Marchen Square (or intersection ) is across the street, so you can’t miss this place (it’s where all the tourists are standing next to the free-standing clock!). There are three floors to explore inside the museum, so make sure you visit all of them!
Rating: 4 Stars

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Marchen Intersection; Sakaimachi, Otaru, Hokkaido, Japan; +81 134-32-4111
Gathering Place to Begin Your Stroll Down Sakaimachidori reviewed September 22, 2017
The perfect place to begin your visit to Otaru’s famed Sakaimachidori street is to meet at Marchen Intersection. All you have to tell your friends is to meet you either at the Steam Clock or at the Bell Tower. The plaza area is large enough to hold many people, yet small enough to find your friends. While there you can listen to the chiming of the bell tower overhead or the steam clock across the street.
Rating: 4 Stars

See the blog post about my previous visit to Otaru

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Baranof Castle State Historical Site; Corner of Harbor Road and Lincoln St., Sitka, Alaska; 907-747-6281; Baranof Castle website
Nice Views, but Not a Spectacular Site reviewed September 10, 2017
The nice thing about walking up the slope to the site of the Baranof Castle is that you get some nice views from the elevated area. It’s also free, there are some signs to read about the history of the area, and you don’t have to spend much time. Other than that, the site isn’t one of those must see places in Sitka.
Rating: 3 Stars

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St. Michael’s Cathedral; Lincoln and Cathedral Streets, Sitka, Alaska; 907-747-8120
A Key Piece of Sitka’s History reviewed September 10, 2017
The Russian Orthodox Cathedral (burnt down in 1967 and rebuilt 10 years later) is a key piece of the history of this area. The original building also played a role in the purchase of “Russia America” by the USA. The cathedral isn’t in the best physical condition, and it seems they are always trying to do some remodeling each time we come through the area.
Don’t let that stop you, however, as it is important to the town of Sitka and in the development of Southeast Alaska.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Russian Bishop’s House; Lincoln & Monastery Streets, Sitka, Alaska; 907-747-6281; Russian Bishop’s House website
Worth a Short Visit; Good Historical Information reviewed September 10, 2017
Our cruise ship stopped in Sitka, and our bus took us from the Old Sitka Dock to downtown where we walked around. It was suggested that we visit the Russian Bishop’s House, and it was a good suggestion. The house contains some great historical information about this area that was previously part of “Russian America.”
Unless you’re a die-hard history buff, you don’t have to spend too much time inside; just wander around and read a few of the placards.

See my blog post about Sitka and some of its highlights.

Rating: 4 Stars

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Erie, Pennsylvania, 9/11 Memorial; 160 E Front St, Erie, PA 16507-1554; Erie 9-11 Memorial on Facebook
Delightful and Unexpected Gem with Great Stories and Photos reviewed August 22, 2017
I was walking along the area in front of the library along the Erie waterfront when I saw the ERIE 9-11 MEMORIAL. I stopped and read everything that was there; it was such a moving and incredible outdoor memorial. It should be on tours for people to see the timelines and photos and absorb the pathos of this incredible site that is dedicated to an awful piece of our history.
Rating: 5 Stars

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Erie Art Museum; 411 State St, Erie, PA 16501-1106; 814-459-5477; erieartmuseum.org
Was Closed When We Were There reviewed August 22, 2017
Our cruise boat was in Erie on Monday, July 31st, when the Art museum was closed. That was too bad as I wanted to go inside and see some of their exhibitions. I did think that the sculpture out from was quite interesting — a huddled screaming creature. Was this a take-off on “The Scream”? Probably not, but it was a different pose. Hopefully it won’t be a Monday when I’m back in town in 2018.
Rating: 3 Stars

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Port Erie Bicentennial Tower; State Street, on Dobbins Landing, Erie, PA; 814-455-6055; www.porterie.org/bicentennial
Great Tower; Pay the Extra for the Elevator reviewed August 22, 2017
The Port of Erie Bicentennial Tower provides amazing views over the port as well into the downtown area that rises up a gentle slope from the port. There’s a small charge ($2) to walk up the stairs to the top, and just a few dollars more ($4 total) to take the elevator to the top — take the elevator! While you’re in the area, you might also choose to get an ice cream or a soda from one of the local vendors.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Lakefront Trail; 540 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60611-3414 (Streeterville); 312-742-7529
Biking, Jogging, Walking — It’s All There on the Lakefront Trail reviewed August 22, 2017
Our cruise boat docked at the southern end (Pier S) in Burnham Harbor right alongside Lakefront Trail. It was interesting to see so many people out jogging and biking along the trail. Walkers were welcomed, but needed to stay to the right for their safety. We even saw many police officers riding bikes along the trail, showing it was safe to be there. I don’t know how far the trail goes, but we saw it up near the Planetarium and extending way past McCormick Place.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Round Island Lighthouse; West Shore of Round Island, Mackinac Island, MI
No Longer Operational But Still a Nice Piece of History reviewed August 22, 2017
The Round Island Lighthouse (an interesting name in itself since the island isn’t round!) no longer functions in that capacity, but it is a good reminder of the importance of protecting boats and ships on their perilous journeys in the Straits of Mackinac. It sits on a breakwater that extends out from Mackinac Island and is a favorite photo shot for many amateur photographers as they approach the island.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Bridal Veil Falls; Niagara Falls, NY
Smallest of the Falls, But Still Nice! reviewed August 22, 2017
Bridal Veil Falls is clearly the narrowest of the Niagara Falls at about fifty feet wide, but it is nice to see a small section of water pouring over the rocks toward Lake Ontario. You have a nicer view of these falls from the Canadian side or from a boat ride than you do from being on top on the American side.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Maid of the Mist; Prospect Point, Niagara Reservation State Park at Prospect Point, Niagara Falls, NY 14303; 716-284-8897; www.maidofthemist.com
Well-Organized Boat Tour Close to the Falls reviewed August 22, 2017
I am always amazed at how many people want to get soaked when the boat ride takes them near the Niagara Falls. I don’t mind a little mist, after all the boat from the American side is called “Maid of the Mist”, but I don’t need to get completely wet. The boat ride was very good with spectacular views of the American Falls, Bridal Falls, and then Horseshoe Falls. The blue poncho definitely helps keep you mostly dry, especially your camera gear.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Table Rock Welcome Centre; 6650 Niagara Parkway, Niagara Falls, Ontario L2E 6T2, Canada; 905-356-2241; Niagara Park Welcome Centre website
Great Views from this area! reviewed August 22, 2017
Most people don’t consider going inside a Welcome Centre when you have such beauty surrounding you. But you can actually get some spectacular views from this two-story building. There are also many shops and casual eating places inside, but the views are the main attraction for me!
Rating: 4 Stars

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Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse; 70 Lighthouse St, Rochester, NY 14612-4710; 585-621-6179; www.geneseelighthouse.org
Seems an Odd Place for a Lighthouse reviewed August 22, 2017
The location of this lighthouse seems rather strange, unless the port/marina area has greatly expanded since the lighthouse was first operational. Its current inland location makes you wonder how it would help ships out on Lake Ontario. We’ve been there a couple times, but we never seem to find the lighthouse open. There are some interesting story boards around the area, along with some flags. Maybe on the next visits in 2018 . . . .
Rating: 3 Stars

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Port of Rochester Marina; 1000 N. River Street, Rochester, NY 14612; 585-428-7432; portofrochestermarina.com
Nice Port with Modest Facilities reviewed August 22, 2017
This as the second time our cruise boat had docked in the Port of Rochester. The city of Rochester itself is about a few miles inland, so this is more of a service area. The port facilities at the marina are modest at best, but there are a couple shops and restaurants (and an expensive custard store). There are a few places within walking distance (less than a mile), including a very nice park and beach at the end of the marina area.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Fort Ontario State Historic Site; 1 E 4th St, Oswego, NY 13126-1233; 315-343-4711; www.fortontario.com
Interesting Piece of History reviewed August 22, 2017
Our cruise boat docked in Oswego and so we walked to Fort Ontario. It played an important role during the Revolutionary War and the war of 1812. The insides of the buildings and accessible areas don’t explain that much of their functions, but some have been converted into museum halls. Walking along the grassy hilltops gives a good view of the area — not only can you see out onto Lake Ontario, but you can also see why this was a strategic location.
Rating: 4 Stars

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The Farmers’ Museum; Lake Road, Cooperstown, NY 13326; 607-547-1450; www.farmersmuseum.org
Great Replica Buildings; Live Narrations; Plants and Animals reviewed August 22, 2017
While most people think of the Baseball Hall of Fame when they hear the town Cooperstown, there is much more to the area. The Farmer’s Market, about two miles outside of the main town contains a great collection of buildings, some original and some replicas, of “farm life” in the 1800s and early 1900s. Some of the buildings are staffed by people in period outfits to explain the particular building — blacksmith; lodging; print shop, etc.
It’s also fun to see the live animals enjoying their life on the farm. They also have a couple small garden areas where you can see some of the crops being grown. This is a mostly outdoor activity, so wear a hat and drink water!
Rating: 4 Stars

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T.R. Gallo West Strand Park; 2 Rondout Landing, Kingston, NY 12401; 845-481-7333
Nice park right in the middle of town reviewed August 20, 2017
We docked in Kingston for an overnight stay on our boat ride up the Hudson River. We took a walk and came upon this delightful park that beckoned us stop take some time and stroll through it. It was a nice little visit and a nice park, quiet and peaceful.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Hudson River Maritime Museum; 50 Rondout Lndg, Kingston, NY 12401-6092; 45-338-0071; www.hrmm.org
Intersting history of the important Hudson River reviewed August 20, 2017
The Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston contains many important artifacts that are representative of the importance of the Hudson River. The museum is located right on the harbor, so our small cruise boat docked right next to it. This made it very convenient to visit the museum as well as walk into town.
Rating: 4 Stars

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United States Military Academy; Trophy Point, West Point, NY; 845-938-2638; www.usma.edu
Beautiful location, campus, and military history reviewed August 20, 2017
I’d been to West Point before (on an exchange weekend when I was at Navy), but it had been 50 years, so this was like a new experience for me. Our ship tour highlight was visiting the Cadet Chapel, seeing the combat flags, the pipe organ, and all the stained glass windows. We visited Trophy Point and a couple other “visitor access” area. The views along the Hudson were magnificent, and it’s easy to see why this area (the “west point” on the Hudson River) was an important place to protect.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Governors Island National Monument; New York Harbor, Ferry Terminal, New York City, NY 10004 (Financial District); 212-440-2200; www.nps.gov/gois/index.htm
Interesting piece of history reviewed August 20, 2017
Governors Island contains some interesting history that most Americans don’t know about. It’s worth taking the ferry over to it the next time you’re visiting New York City. You don’t have to spend all day; two hours will be plenty.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Providence Place Mall; 1 Providence Pl, Providence, RI 02903-1739; 401-270-1000; www.providenceplace.com/en.html
Large shopping mall — conveniences not convenient reviewed August 20, 2017
The Providence Place Mall is quite a large shopping mall with a food court and movie theaters. The convenient items, such as escalators or elevators, are not all the conveniently placed. We spent more time than we thought necessary looking for these items to move from floor to floor. When we did find an elevator we weren’t sure what we would find on floor 2.5!
Rating: 3 Stars

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Roger Williams National Memorial; 282 N Main St, Providence, RI 02903-1240; 401-521-7266; www.nps.gov/rowi/index.htm
Nice Park for a break in downtown Providence reviewed August 20, 2017
Although the park area is not very large, it is well landscaped with flowers and story boards that tell some of the history of the founding of Providence. Also, its proximity to downtown and the State House make it an ideal relaxing spot during a short break from the daily grind. The parking here also allows you to visit some of the other nearby attractions — such as the churches that were instrumental in the city’s founding.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Rhode Island State House; 82 Smith St, Providence, RI 02903-1105; 401-222-2357
Stylish capitol building set on a hill reviewed August 20, 2017
The architects for the Providence State House saw the beauty of placing it on top of a hill overlooking the city. The building is slightly reminiscent of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., with its tall central dome and two assemblies on either side.
We were able to take a self-guided tour through the building with its expansive open area below the main dome. The impressive two-level library houses books and ledgers from the very beginning of the state’s existence. This is worth a short visit on your next visit to Providence.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Manitowoc Marina; 425 Maritime Dr, Manitowoc, WI 54220-6844; 920-682-5117; www.manitowoc-marina.com
Nice Marina, close to town reviewed July 24, 2017
Our cruise boat docked at the Manitowoc Marina next to the Maritime Museum. It was a convenient location, close to town; nice trees with shade. There is plenty of parking space available in the shared lot, and there’s no charge for parking!
Rating: 4 Stars

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Rahr-West Museum and Mansion; 610 N 8th St, Entrance Off Park Street, Manitowoc, WI 54220-3920; 920-686-3090; www.manitowoc.org/1006/Rahr-West-Art-Museum
GREAT Museum and it’s free to visit! reviewed July 24, 2017
Our cruise stopped for the day in Manitowoc, and so we walked up 8th Street to the art museum. The air conditioning inside felt nice as soon as we entered. The main exhibit we wanted to see was their display of Marc Chagall’s 1967 38-plate lithograph collection of “Le Cirque.” It was very impressive to see the entire set on display.
We wandered throughout the mansion and were delighted to see such beautiful furnishings and more great art.
This is a MUST-VISIT location on your next stop in Manitowoc!
Rating: 5 Stars

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Burnham Harbor; 1559 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605-2816 (South Loop); 312-747-7009; www.chicagoharbors.info/harbors/burnham
Lots of boats and great walking, jogging, biking paths reviewed July 24, 2017
Our cruise boat docked for a couple days at the S pier in Burnham Harbor and we were able to go walking along the Trail that borders the lake. Depending on how far you want to go (it stretches for miles), you can visit museums, parks, etc. It’s a nice place on the edge of the city, and it’s alsos fun to see some of the private boats heading out into Lake Michigan.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Chicago River; Chicago, IL; 312-480-0186; Chicage River website
Lots of Stories Plus Great Architecture reviewed July 24, 2017
Whether you walk along the river or take a boat ride, you’re bound to be impressed with the history of the area and the impressive architecture. There is a boat tour that focuses on Architecture — it’s worth taking! Also, as you go along, you’ll see lots of restaurants to tempt your taste palate!
Rating: 4 Stars

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Chicago Transit Authority – CTA; 1431 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60607-1409 (West Loop); 312-836-7000; www.transitchicago.com
Efficient Service to and from O’Hare Airport reviewed July 24, 2017
I had to take someone to O’Hare Airport, and rather than taking taxi or Uber we took the CTA Blue Line from the Clarke/Lake station near the river. The train was prompt, efficient, the cars were clean, and we probably got there (on a Monday morning) before we would have made it via a car. The station at the airport was easy to navigate, and then it was easy to come back to town after her flight left.
Chicago has done a good job with their transit system – thanks!
Rating: 4 Stars

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Wisconsin Maritime Museum; 75 Maritime Dr, Manitowoc, WI 54220-6823; 920-684-0218
Excellent Displays; Friendly Staff; Great History reviewed July 23, 2017
Our cruise ship was docked right next to the Maritime Museum and so a visit there was very easy. The super-friendly staff gave us a map of the museum, along with some suggestions on how best to enjoy the exhibits. The models of some of the “lake boats” were fun to look at, and the huge steam engine was quite the engineering marvel. I also liked reading about some of the shipwrecks on the Great Lakes — not for the disasters, but for the attempts to save the crew, etc.
If you stop in Manitowoc, you MUST go to the Maritime Museum!
Rating: 5 Stars

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Mackinac Island State Park; 7029 Huron Rd, Mackinac Island, MI 49757-5155; 231-436-4100
Beautiful Park Lands all over the Island reviewed July 1, 2017
It seems that there isn’t much on Mackinac Island that isn’t part of the State Park. Close to the ferry docks is Marquette Park, part of the park system. It honors Father Jacques Marquette who worked to bring Christianity to the local Indians in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. There is a statue of him in the park, which is just below Fort Mackinac.
Rating: 4 Stars

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The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum; 7070 Main St, Mackinac Island, MI 49757
Nice Museum with Historical Elements of the Island reviewed July 1, 2017
Entering this art museum is simple and free — just show your ticket to Fort Mackinac. Formerly an Indian dormitory, the multi-level museum houses many nice pieces of Mackinac Island history captured through art. It’s just past Marquette Park, the very first building you’ll see, so there’s no reason to skip it. They host some children’s activities during the summer, so if you’re traveling with kids, have them “do some artwork.”
Rating: 4 Stars

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Robert Stuart House; Mackinac Island, MI
Nice History, Denigrated now as Museum reviewed July 1, 2017
Once the center of John Jacob Astor’s fur-trading business, the Robert Stuart House is now a museum. That would be fine, but you are “kindly asked” to make a donation for the privilege of going through the museum. I don’t mind paying to visit museums; after all, they need funds to operate. But when I’m “kindly asked’ for a “donation” — I find that to be tacky.
Rating: 3 Stars

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Murdick’s Fudge; 7363 Main Street, Mackinac Island, MI 49757; 906-847-3530; www.originalmurdicksfudge.com
Delicious Fudge with Helpful and Friendly Staff reviewed July 1, 2017
No trip to Mackinac Island is complete with a stop to buy some fudge. There are plenty of choices available, but I chose Murdick’s Fudge this time. Typically sold by weight ($15.95 per pound), they have a special of 3 slices (about half-pound each) for $19.95. I bought two slices to bring home (Butter Pecan and Michigan Maple Walnut) and then the cruise director got the third slice to take back to the crew.
Yummy!
Rating: 5 Stars

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Mackinac Island Carriage Tours; Mackinac Island, MI 49757; 906-847-3307; www.mict.com
Convenient, Courteous, but Corny Jokes reviewed July 1, 2017
It seems that wannabe comedians come to Mackinac Island and drive the horse-drawn carriages when they can’t get work elsewhere. Both of our drivers were plying us with corny jokes and puns and then laughing the loudest. I would have preferred the plain information; I can watch the Comedy Channel if I want bad humor.
Rating: 3 Stars

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St Anne’s Catholic Church; 6836 Huron Rd, Mackinac Island, MI 49757-5155; 906-847-3507; www.steanneschurch.org
Beautiful Building and Great Sunday Concerts reviewed July 1, 2017
Our cruise ship stopped at Mackinac Island on a Sunday. I found out quite by happenstance that there was going to be a concert at St. Anne’s that afternoon, so I went. The two sopranos gave amazing performances with songs from show tunes to opera to gospel to sacred music.
The interior is quite charming with the tall ceiling and the stained glass windows.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Fort Mackinac; 7127 Huron Rd, Mackinac Island, MI 49757-5155; 906-847-3328; Fort Mackinac website
Nice History plus Great Views Overlooking the Water reviewed July 1, 2017
Our cruise ship tour included a stop at Fort Mackinac, where they have a saying something like: “History Repeats Itself; it does it here everyday.” With people dressed in period outfits, there are re-enactments of firing rifles and a cannon as they occurred in the War of 1812. You can walk through various buildings, outfitted as they were 200 years ago, and there is a nice gift shop with books, souvenirs, and even sweatshirts if it’s a cold day! There is an elevator from the back entrance area, but it’s a long steep walk if you enter from the front.

View my YouTube video on Re-enactment of Rifle Firing at Fort Mackinac — it’s about 1’15”.

Rating: 4 Stars

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Arch Rock; Mackinac Island, MI; 248-344-0451
Great Photo Opportunity reviewed July 1, 2017
I’ve been to Arch Rock before, but it’s always a nice place to stop and try to take that one amazing photograph. I had told people about the Arch Rock prior to arriving on Mackinac Island, and then several people came to me later to tell me how much more they enjoyed it because of my telling them about it.
Suggestion: reach the Arch Rock from the road at the back of Fort Mackinac; climbing the steps up from the shoreline road is a tough, long, steep climb
Rating: 4 Stars

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Soo Locks Boat Tours; Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783; 800-432-6301; www.soolocks.com
Convenient to downtown and museums reviewed June 30, 2017
The office for the Soo Locks Boat Tours was very close to where we docked in Sault Ste. Marie. The boats look clean and well-maintained, and you can get a nice tour of the River and the locks from this convenient location. There is plenty of free parking available, and there’s a gift shop nearby.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Das Gift Haus; 305 W Portage Ave, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783; 906-632-0454; dasgifthaus.com
An Average Souvenir Shop reviewed June 30, 2017
I spent a few hours walking around the main part of Sault Ste. Marie after our ship docked down by the Valley Camp. The German-sounding name of this shop, Das Haus, seemed a little strange to me, but it was worth a stop anyway. It looked like an average souvenir shop without much from the local artisans. But not everyone is looking for something local when they visit a place, so there’s clearly some demand for the items in this shop.
Rating: 3 Stars

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SaultRealism; 205 W Portage Ave, Opposite Palace Saloon, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783-1921; 906-253-1693; Sault Realism website
Nice Crafts from Local Artisans reviewed June 30, 2017
Our ship docked in Sault Ste. Marie, and I went for a stroll in town rather than the organized tour. As I walked down Portage Avenue, I was pleasantly surprised to find a nice shop with amazing crafts made by local artisans. I like the name “Sault Realism,” as I think it properly conveys what you’re getting inside.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Holy Name of Mary Church; 326 E Portage Ave, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783; 906-632-3381; www.holymarywebsite.org
Beautiful Building with Well-Kept Grounds reviewed June 30, 2017
After our cruise ship docked in Sault Ste. Marie near the Valley Camp, I headed out to walk around town. The beautiful Holy Name of Mary Church drew my attention and I had to go across the street for a closer view. I read the sign and then later learned (from Wikipedia) that a pro-cathedral is a parish church that is temporarily serving as the cathedral or co-cathedral of a diocese. I learned something on that trip; yea!
Rating: 4 Stars

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Museum Ship Valley Camp; 501 E Water St, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783-2038; 906-632-3658; Valley Camp website
Great History Contained Inside reviewed June 30, 2017
Our cruise ship docked next to the Valley Camp Ship Museum, and we were definitely dwarfed by the size of that ship! It is a huge freighter that now contains many artifacts and tales of history of the ships that have plied the waters of the Great Lakes. You can stroll inside as well as on the upper deck where your views of the canal will be enhanced. There’s plenty of free parking where you can even leave your car as you wander down historic Water Street, visit the various parks, maybe even the shops along Portage Avenue.
Rating: 4 Stars

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George Kemp Marina; 485 E Water St, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783-2049; 906-635-7670; www.saulthistoricsites.com/kemp-marina
Great Marina along the Mary Falls Canal reviewed June 30, 2017
Right along the canal (very close to the Soo Locks) next to the Water Street Historic Block is the George Kemp Marina. As you can tell from the photo, the parking lot is well-maintained, and its entrance is bordered by a beautiful historic home on the left and the Valley Camp Ship Museum on the right.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Water Street Historic Block; 405 E Water St, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783-2049; 906-632-3658; www.saulthistoricsites.com/water-street-historic-block
Interesting Slice of History reviewed June 30, 2017
Strolling down the street, I came upon the Water Street Historic Block. There are many old houses and buildings that were instrumental to the development of this area near the Soo Locks. Signs outside describe the significance of the buildings, and some of them are open to the public. There are also several parks where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery along the canal.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Tower of History; 326 E Portage Ave, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783-2056; 906-632-3658; www.saulthistoricsites.com/tower-of-history
An Observation Tower with Admission Charge reviewed June 30, 2017
Not really about “history,” the Tower of History is a tall tower (looks like the tallest in the area) that’s really more of an observation tower. True, the views from the top can be spectacular, but I didn’t feel the it was worth paying an admission fee just to see a view of the river and locks from above.
Rating: 2 Stars

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Soo Locks; Lake Superior, Sault Ste. Marie, MI; 800-647-2858; www.saultstemarie.com/attractions/soo-locks
Locks with nice public viewing reviewed June 30, 2017
Our cruise ship went through the Soo Locks on our way from Lake Huron to Lake Superior. As we went north-west into Lake Superior, we saw people in a viewing center right adjacent to the locks. On our way back out of Lake Superior, we stopped in Sault Ste. Marie and had a chance to go to the visitor center and see the ships go through from a different viewpoint. We were the observers this time rather than the observed.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Windsor Riverfront; Riverside Drive West, Windsor, Ontario, Canada; 800-991-7777; www.waterfronttrail.org/windsor
Pretty riverfront with views of Detroit reviewed June 30, 2017
Our cruise ship docked in Windsor for our tours in Detroit. The riverfront area contains many beautiful parks and walkways, plus you’re able to watch boats (large and small) as they head north to Lake Huron or south to Lake Erie. There are also restaurants and bars nearby for food and drink. We saw some young adults playing soccer in the grassy areas.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Detroit-Windsor Tunnel; 100 E Jefferson Ave, Detroit, MI 48226-4376; 313-567-4422; www.dwtunnel.com
Convenient access between cities (and countries) reviewed June 30, 2017
Our cruise ship was docked on the Windsor, Ontario side of the river, and so we had to go through the tunnel twice for our visits to Detroit. The tunnel is clean and light — the only real issue is that you have to stop and go through Customs each time you’re entering the USA side and then on the Canada side.
Rating: 4 Stars

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The Henry Ford; 20900 Oakwood Blvd, Dearborn, MI 48124-5029; 313-982-6001; www.thehenryford.org
Amazing Collection of Inventions and Innovation reviewed June 30, 2017
Our cruise group had a few hours at the Henry Ford, aka, the Museum of Innovation. We had a guided tour where we learned some of the insight of the museum itself as well as some of the innovations that made America great! Plan to do a lot of walking, and there are not many places to sit and rest your feet. There are many dedicated spaces:
> Driving America — how the automobile transformed society
> Railroads — including the largest locomotive ever built
> Presidential Vehicles — limousines ridden in Presidents, including JFK’s
> With Liberty and Justice for All — struggles for freedom from revolution to civil rights
> Made in America — innovative creators who made USA into manufacturing superpower
… and many more.
Rating: 5 Stars

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Mariners’ Church; 170 East Jefferson Ave, Detroit, MI 48226; 313-259-2206; marinerschurchofdetroit.org/
“Bell rang 29 times” reviewed June 29, 2017
This exquisite Anglican Church is the one in Gordon Lightfoot’s song The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, realeased in 1976 on his Summertime Dream album. The church is on the right side as you’re approaching the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel as you leave Detroit. Here are the phrases that refer to the church:
In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed,
In the maritime sailors’ cathedral
The church bell chimed till it rang twenty-nine times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald

Rating: 4 Stars

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Detroit Institute of Arts; 5200 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48202-4094; 313-833-7900; www.dia.org/about
Excellent Exhibits and Docent Tours reviewed June 29, 2017
Our cruise group had a few hours at the DIA, and we wished we’d had more time. There’s so much to see, including works by van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso, many others. Their main claim to fame is Rivera Court where huge murals by Diego Rivera (Frida Khalo’s husband) adorn the walls and tell amazing stories.
One set of sculptures that truly amazed me were by Giovanni Maria Benzoni where you swear you can see through the thin marble veils. I’ve never seen anything like that before. The photograph is one of several of the Benzoni sculptures that I took.
Going to Detroit requires a visit to the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Rating: 5 Stars

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FirstEnergy Stadium; 100 Alfred Lerner Way, Cleveland, OH 44114-1008; 440-824-3361
Adjacent to Science Center and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame reviewed June 28, 2017
The home to the [new] Cleveland Browns, FirstEnergy Stadium is very attractive. It’s not open to the general public when there isn’t a game, but you can see through the gates in several areas to see the orange seats and green field. Standing outside toward the Science Center is a tall statue of the great Jim Brown. You can read some of his stats that are still amazing today.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Lolly the Trolley; 1831 Columbus Rd, Cleveland, OH 44113-2411; 800-848-0173; lollytrolley.com
Great Way to Tour Cleveland; Excellent Narration reviewed June 28, 2017
Dave was our driver and guide on our tour of Cleveland. His descriptions were great, and his voice was always uplifting and positive — telling people about Cleveland was clearly a passion of his, not a job. He picked us up at our cruise ship and dropped us off at the ship after our tour was over.
The wooden seat backs are a bit uncomfortable as you go over bumps in the road. The small size (holds about 25) enables a more intimate grouping — this is a recommended way to tour the city!
Rating: 5 Stars

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Great Lakes Science Center; 601 Erieside Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114-1021; 216-694-2000; greatscience.com
Nice Center near many other sites reviewed June 28, 2017
The Great Lakes Science Center is located right on Lake Erie within a couple hundred yards of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and FirstEnergy Stadium, home of the Cleveland Browns. It would be easy to take in both the Science Center and the Hall of Fame in one day. The exhibits inside are very nice, including the ones geared for young children. On a hot day, or on a rainy day, this would be an especially nice place to visit.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44114-1023; 216-781-7625; www.rockhall.com
Good Exhibits; a bit pricey reviewed June 28, 2017
Our cruise ship was docked about a half mile from the Hall of Fame, so we naturally went there. The admission prices is steep ($23.50) and there was no discount with my Press Card. I spent most of my time in the lower level, enjoying the Beatles exhibit as well as many of the outfits worn by rockers.The gift shop has lots of music for sale, including CDs and LPs. The bus outside is the touring bus used by Johnny Cash; it has over two million miles on it!
Rating: 4 Stars

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Lake View Cemetery; 12316 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106-4393; 216-421-2665; lakeviewcemetery.com
Interesting History and Beautiful Grounds reviewed June 28, 2017
Our ship’s tour went to Lake View Cemetery primarily to visit the Wade Chapel. We did learn a few interesting facts.
>It is 285 acres with 65 acres remaining for future development (enough room for the next 100 years!)
>It was founded in 1869
>There are about 109,000 people buried, including cremation and entombments
>There is a memorial to President Garfield, a monument to honor the family of John D. Rockefeller
>The ashes of crime fighter Eliot Ness were scattered in a lake near Wade Chapel
Rating: 4 Stars

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Wade Memorial Chapel; 12316 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106-4393; 216-421-2665; lakeviewcemetery.com
Architecture Delight Inside and Out reviewed June 28, 2017
Our cruise ship tour visited Wade Chapel in Lake View Cemetery, and we were amazed. The building was built out of Vermont granite, and the interior — including the rose window — were created by Louis Comfort Tiffany studios (yes, thatTiffany). Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the chapel was built to honor Jeptha Wade, the founder of the Western Union Telegraph Company and the first president of the Lake View Cemetery Association.
The chapel is still used today for funerals and also for weddings (yes, for weddings!).
The mosaics on the sides of the chapel depict various scenes from the Old Testament and the New Testament. The docent was very helpful and told us all the pertinent information.
Rating: 5 Stars

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Cleveland Museum of Art; 11150 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106-1797; 216-421-7340; www.clevelandart.org
Didn’t Have Enough Time to Appreciate It reviewed June 28, 2017
Our cruise ship tour made a short stop at the Museum (mostly to use the free restrooms), and it certainly wasn’t enough time for us to truly enjoy the art. The outdoor sculpture garden was interesting, and it would have been nice to have had enough time to stroll through all the galleries. I was able to go through one Modern Prints gallery, but that certainly wasn’t enough!
Rating: 4 Stars

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Hornblower Niagara Cruises; 5920 Niagara Parkway, Niagara Falls, Ontario L2E 6X8, Canada; 905-642-4272; www.niagaracruises.com
Good Way to View the Falls Up Close reviewed June 28, 2017
Taking a Hornblower cruise is probably the best way to view the falls from the water. Each guest is given a poncho to wear, although it’s of minimal use if you stand at the edge — you WILL get soaked. The staff are friendly, and the boats are clean. If you go to the Falls, you should also take a Hornblower cruise because the view from the lower level is more spectacular than the great views from the top of the falls.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Horseshoe Falls; Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada; 905-356-1179; www.niagarafallstourism.com
Nothing Short of Spectacular! reviewed June 28, 2017
Viewing Horseshoe Falls is an amazing experience. Seeing the curved nature and hearing the water roar down is totally breathtaking. If you have the time, view the Falls from the top and then from a boat on the water!
Rating: 5 Stars

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Niagara Falls; Niagara Falls, Ontario L2G 3Y9, Canada; 800-563-2557; www.niagarafallstourism.com
Certainly Worth the Visit reviewed June 28, 2017
I’ve been to Niagara Falls (and on both sides) several times, and it’s worth going there each time! This time was with a group from our cruise ship, and we went on the Hornblower for our up close (and wet) view of the falls. The provided poncho is of little use if you get too close to the major water coming down. I stayed inside with my cameras and enjoyed watching others get soaked.
Go to the Falls!
p.s. the best view is on the Canadian side!
Rating: 5 Stars

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Welland Bridge 13; Welland, Ontario L3B 3W7, Canada; Facebook page for Welland Bridge 13
Nice Lift Bridge to Exit Canal reviewed June 28, 2017
Bridge #13 on the Welland Canal is a lift bridge that goes up to allow ships to pass through. It was our final “obstacle” as we were exiting the Welland Canal into Lake Erie. Some ships tie upon the Lake Erie side of the canal as you can see in the photograph. Some are there for loading (or unloading), and others are waiting their turn to enter the canal.
Rating: 3 Stars

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The Welland Canal; West Street, Welland, Ontario L3K 4E3, Canada; 905-984-8880; www.wellandcanal.com
Canals and Locks are Always Interesting reviewed June 28, 2017
Cruising through the Welland Canal from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie was a nice adventure on our recent cruise of the 5 Great Lakes. There were parts where it was easy to forget that you were in a canal as it seemed like a river. Lock #8 was certainly the most interesting with the park on the side (see it’s separate review below).
Rating: 4 Stars

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Lock 8 Gateway Park; 133 Mellanby Ave, Port Colborne, Ontario L3K 2L6, Canada; 905-835-2900
Pretty Park even from the Canal reviewed June 28, 2017
Our cruise ship was going through the Welland Canal to Port Colborne when we came into Lock #8. The park on the starboard side of the ship was very pretty with well-manicured grass and flowers. There were a few people who were enjoying the park as well as some watching us go through. This was a way to give a very favorable impression of the area.
Rating: 4 Stars

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Floral Clock; 7400 Portage Road, Queenston ON, Niagara Falls, Ontario L2E 6T2, Canada; 877-642-7275; Floral Clock website
Creative but lacking colour reviewed June 28, 2017
We drove by the floral clock on our way from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Niagara Falls. It would have been nice if the bus driver had stopped so we could have gotten nice pictures of the clock, but those of us on the right side of the bus had to quickly snap a photo.
The clock is interesting, but clearly lacking imagination in the use of color (colour).
Rating: 3 Stars

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Niagara on the Lake Heritage District; Queen St, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario L0S 1J0, Canada; 905-468-1950; www.niagaraonthelake.com
Touristy, but why else are you there? reviewed June 28, 2017
This main area of Niagara-on-the-Lake is clearly designed for tourists. But it’s still quite a cute, charming district with lots of restaurants, coffee shops, knick-knack and souvenir shops. The flowers in late Spring to early Summer are very pretty, and it’s a nice walk on a beautiful day. I found the shopkeepers to be very friendly and nice; I think it’s worth a short stop here.
Rating: 4 Stars

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St. Vincent De Paul Church; 73 Picton Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario L0S 1J0, Canada; 905-468-7272; www.svdpparishnotl.ca
Outstanding Prayer Garden out front reviewed June 28, 2017
We had a short stop in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and as I walked into town I saw this gorgeous little prayer garden in front of the church. It is called the “Prayer Garden for World Peace.” As you enter the garden, you see a couple places to sit and then a nice sculpture. As the plaque says, this is a great place for “A Quiet Moment.”
Rating: 4 Stars

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Château des Charmes; 1025 York Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario L0S 1J0, Canada; 905-262-4219; Château des Charmes website
Great Tour (for our group of 85); Nice Lunch; Very Tasty Wine reviewed June 28, 2017
Our group of about 85 from the small cruise ship went to Château des Charmes as part of our day trip into Niagara Falls. We were split up into 3 smaller groups and then taken on a short tour of the winery. Following the tour, we were served a scrumptious buffet lunch along with wine tasting.
We tasted the following wines:
> Sauvignon Blanc — nice chilled white wine; I prefer a little more bouquet and flavor
> Rosé, Cuvée d’ Andrée — I’m typically not a big Rosé fan, but this was nice and crisp
> Cabernet Franc — a very nice full-bodied red
> Vidal Icewine — super-chilled ice wine that was very sweet and a nice way to finish the meal
(No, we didn’t get to keep a wine glass as a souvenir)
Overall, the trip to Château des Charmes was a great delight, and all the staff were quite friendly and knowledgeable.
Rating: 5 Stars

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I have a lot more reviews to be added!


WX
Y reviewed June 28, 2017
Z
Rating: 5 Stars


2016


WX
Y reviewed July 1, 2016
Z
Rating: 5 Stars

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