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Have you noticed there’s no other place for teenagers to talk about travel?

Here you can read what other teenagers have to say about travel – from day trips to journeys abroad, shopping, eating, coasting, and other activities on vacation. Also, parents can read what teenagers like and dislike about family vacations and destinations so that they can plan a family trip that YOU will enjoy.

 

Teen Travel Talk is also interested in YOUR travel experiences. If you want to become a paid blogger and publish your travel stories on Teen Travel Talk, click “contact us” on the left hand side, fill out your contact information and tell us why you’d be a great teen travel blogger.

 



The Civil Rights Museum

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When people make their way to Memphis, Tennessee, they usually plan on a day trip to Graceland, the former residence of Elvis. But in reality, there is so much more to Memphis than that. I could go on and on about the restaurants, as you probably know from my many posts on food, but there are also a lot of fun and even meaningful things to do in Memphis. One of the places that you need to visit when in Memphis is the Civil Rights Museum.

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The museum is located in the Lorraine Hotel, the location where Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated. The museum was recently renovated and re-opened after a year of being closed. On April 5th, it reopened with even more powerful and even interactive exhibits.

The museum is a moving, enlightening, inspiring, and humbling experience. Each exhibit immerses visitors in the story of the oppression of Black Americans, and their struggle for equality. Their permanent exhibits include ‘A Culture of Resistance: Slavery in America’, ‘Standing Up By Sitting Down: Student Sit-Ins 1960′, ‘The Year They Walked: Montgomery Bus Boycott 1955-1956′, ‘We Are Prepared To Die: Freedom Rides 1961′, and ‘What Do We Want?: Black Power’.

Exhibitions on the ‘rise of Jim Crow’, King’s last hours, the march on Washington, and many others are also currently found in the museum.

Many of the exhibits are artistic, incredibly interactive, and are a multimedia experience, like ‘The Children Shall Lead Them: Birmingham 1963′. This exhibit is in a jail cell, where audio of Dr. Martin Luther King is played reading from his famous ‘Letter From a Birmingham Jail’. The wall is covered with the global media coverage of the campaign, concluding with John F. Kennedy calling a civil rights bill to be passed. This multimedia immersion is common in the exhibits at the museum. 40 new films are included in these renovated, interactive exhibits.

The room where King stayed in his last days in the only part of the hotel that has been left unchanged.

There’s a lot to say about the museum, with its artifacts, recordings, and the way you are consumed by the reality of racism and oppression, and the fight for equality, but I can only urge people to make their way to the museum. This museum is enough reason to come to Memphis.

For information on visiting the museum: http://civilrightsmuseum.org/visit/

 

Hancock Shaker Village In The Heart Of The Berkshires

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I love The Berkshires. It isn’t just about the region’s stunning scenery and outdoor recreation; there is so much to see and do when it comes to music, the arts, and history too. One of the most unique attractions in the area is the Hancock Shaker Village, which is a living history museum that was once home to more than 300 Shakers in its heyday. The village opens for the season this Saturday, April 12th, and will start off with a cute 3-week celebration of their baby animals, who are the newest additions to their working farm. Tourists lucky enough to make it there will go to the famous Round Stone Barn to see the Village’s piglets, chicks, calves and lambs at their best. This notable building has been around since 1826, and its circular shape is more than just visually appealing; farm workers have always benefited from its functionality. The guided tour explains how and why the Round Stone Barn continues to work well today.

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For those who won’t be able to see the baby animals in all of their glory, you will still be able visit some of them and explore the rest of this incredible historical site, which is nestled on 750 beautiful acres. The village is not only home to a working farm; it also has 20 historic Shaker buildings, a store, a café, the Center for Shaker Studies, and various galleries and exhibits that the whole family can explore and enjoy. I love how the Hancock Shaker Village draws people in with its celebration of Shaker history in the Berkshires’ natural landscape. The site demonstrates how the faith’s core values of equality between men and women, pacifism, and smart agriculture made lasting impacts on American society; it really is one of the best tourist attractions to connect colonial history with today in the country.

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Hancock Shaker Village is located in the heart of the Berkshires in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, which is rated as the area’s most popular destination on TripAdvisor.com. Because there is a working farm on the property, no pets are allowed. It only takes anywhere between two to three hours to get there by car from the New York City metropolitan area, so consider staying more than just one day to discover the best of what the region has to offer. The Hancock Shaker Village is a great place to start.

Octane & The Little Tart Bakeshop

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I spend most of my free time coffee shops. Even when I go on trips, I find myself needing a place to concentrate to get a bit of work done and the deafening silence of hotel rooms gets to me. I just can’t stand it. The light chatter and music in the background help me stay concentrated on what I am doing, whether it be studying or doing some pleasure reading. It was only natural to find myself in a coffee shop when visiting Atlanta, and due to friends’ recommendations, I found myself in Octane, which shares a space with the Little Tart Bakeshop.

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Thankfully, both the coffee shop (Octane) and the Little Tart Bakeshop were open, so I will admit: I indulged. And I was the happiest man in Atlanta as I shoved a Pain au Chocolat down my throat, complemented by iced coffee. And that Pain au Chocolat was brilliantly-crafted, baked perfectly so that it was marvelously flaky but not dry… and the chocolate gushed out gloriously, making a little mess, but nothing major. In my opinion, it was actually a beautiful sight.

That was just the morning.

As lunch approached, I decided to get the Little Tart Bakeshop’s take on a BLT: Pine Street Market bacon, local arugula, kale, or lettuce, and tomato pesto, along with some tomato soup and an Italian soda.

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And by the time the afternoon just about snuck by, I found myself digging into a Brown Butter Almond Cake with another iced coffee.

I was very pleased. Ecstatic, even.

There is a lot to love about this place. There is plenty of seating and space for you to be alone and do your thing. The decor is modern and clean but also unique and wildly geometric. Yes, the decor is hip as can be. The coffee is high quality, good music plays all day, and the food is amazing, in both taste and in its presentation.

I have one regret, and that is not getting a vanilla latte. They were both beautiful and I heard people raving about them nearby. Next time.

For more information: http://www.littletartatl.com/ and http://octanecoffee.com/

New York City For Beginners

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My cousin visited us last week; he is from Indonesia and has never been to the United States before. He was not here for fun; he was on a business trip, and had back-to-back meetings in Manhattan almost every day he was here. When my cousin does return, I hope he will have time to explore New York City. He likes what he saw in Manhattan, and can’t wait to return with his family. When he does, and if he asks me for my advice on what to do, I will share the following suggestions with him.

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Manhattan is where most tourists start. It’s as if New York City was set up for all newcomers to visit this most popular borough first. When most people think of New York, they think of the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Times Square, Broadway, and other notable landmarks that are constantly used in movies, television, and all other forms of media. For those who don’t know where to start, Manhattan stands out from the rest, and beckons all new tourists with a wide variety of tourist options.

Want to get your bearings? Try a bus tour. There are so many to choose from, and they most originate in Midtown Manhattan. One of the most popular of these bus tours is Gray Line New York Sightseeing, which offers the Classic New York Double-Decker Bus Tours, and many other single and multi-day options. It’s up to the tourist, but if there is limited time, it might be good to take a bus tour around Manhattan to become visually familiar with its most popular areas. If you have time afterwards to explore certain areas you liked best during the tour, you can do so afterwards. Or you can move on to something else. Many tourists buy The New York Pass, which is a convenient way to see up to 80 tourist attractions cash-free. These work best for anyone who has at least two or three days to spare for sightseeing, and want to concentrate on popular sites only.

Walking tours are fantastic. Personally, I love a good walking tour. The best way to explore Manhattan is on foot, and there are many options for tourists with sturdy walking shoes and good luck with the weather, especially if they are interested in specific neighborhoods. I took the Greenwich Village Food Tour, which I absolutely loved. Sure, we scarfed down thin-crust pizza and cookies as large as my face, but all of us on the tour burned quite a few calories walking from place to place. There are also tours that cover other neighborhoods and popular landmarks, and highlight other Manhattan attractions, such as shopping and television/film. Depending on what you like, the options are endless.

New York City’s public transportation system is worth checking out. If you want to avoid using The New York Pass because of budget constraints, then buying a MetroCard is the way to go. You can buy a pay-per-ride or unlimited ride MetroCard, depending on how much time you have to explore the city’s most popular borough. You can use the card on the buses and subways, and can check out the schedules on the MTA website. I actually think the M42 bus would be a great option for those interested in seeing the United Nations near 1st Avenue; just take the bus from 8th or 9th Avenues (near Port Authority Bus Terminal) and travel east crosstown to the very last stop, which is the United Nations area. The bus cuts through Times Square and past Grand Central Station on its way to and from the United Nations.

Bottom line: No one can explore all of New York City in one visit. Even most New Yorkers only know certain neighborhoods and boroughs, and may have little or no knowledge of other areas around the city. The best thing for newbies to do is to hit some of the most popular spots first, and then make specific explorations solo, or in small groups. You can never see New York City the same way more than once. I think that’s why it remains one of the most popular cities to visit in the world.

A City Split in Half: Part II

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Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada is completely different in the summer and winter. I already mentioned the fun things to do during the spring and summer here, but there are also advantages to going during the winter.

My family and I have gone to Lake Tahoe in December, where the snow covers everything. It really is a beautiful sight to see.

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You see those people on the side walking on the ice. It’s such a wonderful experience to be standing on frozen ice like that. Although it was freezing, we enjoyed ourselves. We were sledding down a hill, making snow angels, and having snowball fights. These are memories that I am going to cherish forever.

In addition, no trip to Lake Tahoe is complete without a ride on a gondola. I love the view we get from the seats. I, personally, don’t ski or snowboard, but just a chance to go on a gondola and see the view is breathtaking. If you aren’t really into heights, something  free that you could do and cross off your bucket list would be to be in two places at once. The California and Nevada state line really is a nice picture opportunity, and its free too! This is one of my favorite pictures that I found online:

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Lake Tahoe really has two completely different sides to it. Both of which are beautiful, but I can’t decide which time of the year I like to go.

Do you like summer weather for travelling or the nice chilly weather?

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