A look at Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort Smith is where the new south meets the west. Years ago this was the Wild West. Today, it translates into rides, entertainment attractions, events, shopping, dining, and music that reflect this early frontier heritage.

By day, Fort Smith has year-round attractions to fill a week with fascinating sights, tours, and a close-up look at the Old West. Start your tour of this town at Miss Laura’s and then head to the National Historic Site, it’s only a few blocks away, and it’s filled with exhibits that bring to life America’s colorful and sometimes rowdy frontier heritage. To be honest, it takes a day to see it all. Across the street is the Fort Smith Museum of History. Besides its imaginative exhibits with a self-guided recorded tour, the museum has an old-time soda fountain right out of the 1920s.

Then one stop away on the streetcar line is the Trolley Museum and car barn. If you are interested in railroad nostalgia, they have a steam locomotive and several antique railroad cars there. Take a stroll through the 22 square blocks Belle Grove historic district. Most days you can tour the majestic old Clayton House, the Fort Smith Art Center, and the Darby Museum – the childhood home of World War two hero, General William O. Darby who started the Army Rangers.

Looking for both nostalgia and breathtaking scenery, take a train trip into the Ozarks aboard the antique coaches of the ANM railroad. It’s a spectacular ride through tunnels and over tall trestles. It’s one of the longest railroad excursion trips available. Nearby are wineries, living history museums, casinos, and a host of unique live entertainment venues. There is several Civil War battlefield national parks close by and the unbelievable beauty of the nearby Ozark, Boston, Washington, and Kiamichi mountains will take your breath away.

By night, Fort Smith has music to meet every taste, from Blue’s to Bach and from Hard Rock to bluegrass. Outdoor music happens almost every night from April to October and for a hearty laugh and some surprisingly good singing, Miss Laura’s players will stage a performance of the Medicine Show on hanging day. Be sure to stay for a weekend, the calendar is always filled with festivals, crash shows, special events, and concerts to make your trip to Fort Smith a time to remember.

Getting to Fort Smith is really a pleasure for most people. If you want to drive, the city is within a day’s drive of every major city from Amarillo to Nashville and from New Orleans to Omaha. And if you want to fly, the Fort Smith Regional Airport is one of the most beautiful terminals in the nation.

From Miss Laura’s, it’s only eight blocks to the new convention center and the largest of Portsmouth’s downtown hotels. You will find 400 newly redecorated hotel rooms in downtown Fort Smith. Within 12 minutes of the Convention Center, you will find more than 1400 new or newly redecorated hotel rooms. Fort Smith is where the new south meets the Old West and you will love what happens when they both come together.

Cordoba, Spain Travel Guide

A building is enough reason to place Córdoba at the top of your itinerary: the fascinating multi-colored Mezquita. The Mezquita is one of the largest Islamic buildings in the world and is a symbol of the secular and refined culture that thrived here many years ago when the capital of Islamic Spain was Cordoba and the largest and most sophisticated city in Western Europe. But the Córdoba of today is way more than the Mezquita.

With plenty to see and do, charming accommodation, and excellent bars and restaurants, it deserves much more than the ephemeral visit many travelers make. Cordoba’s true charm unfolds when you explore the winding cobblestone streets of the medieval city of the colorful tourist area immediately around the Mezquita. Some colleagues of mine who run an Edmonton wedding DJ business told me about this hidden gem after they had visited a couple years back so I decided to do some more research on this place. Golden stone buildings and green courtyards appear every few minutes in another picturesque little hidden square. Here are the top must-see attractions in Cordoba, Spain.

Palacio de Viana
The Viana Palace is an impressive Renaissance palace with 12 beautiful courtyards full of plants. It is especially a pleasure in spring. The large building, which was inhabited by the noble Marqués de Viana, is full of antiques and arts. You can simply stroll through the charming courtyards and gardens with a self-guided brochure or take a tour of the rooms. It is located 800 meters northeast of the Plaza de las Tendillas.

Medina Azhara
8km west of Cordoba lies what remains of Medina Azahara, the magnificent palace city constructed in the 10th century by Caliph Abdul ar-Rahman. The complex encompasses a slope and the Caliph’s Palace on the highest level overlooking the open fields and gardens. Residential areas not yet excavated have been removed on both sides. A magnificent museum has been established below the site.

Centro Flamenco Fosforito
Perhaps Andalusia’s best flamenco museum, the Fosforito Center offers exhibitions, films, and information boards in English and Spanish that tell you the guitar history and all the great names in flamenco. The touchscreen videos show the important techniques of flamenco percussion, dance, guitar, and song. Free flamenco shows are also organized, often on Sundays at noon.

Caballerizas Reales
These graceful stables were built in 1570 by order of King Felipe II, as a development center for the great Spanish thoroughbred warhorse. The center still breeds these beautiful horses and trains jockeys and horses in equestrian disciplines. You can follow the training during daily opening hours, Tuesday through Sunday (11 a.m.), or take part in the hour-long show, which remarkably combines the skills of horses and jockeys with dance and music of flamenco.

A Trip Around Cardiff

Cardiff, the capital of Wales since 1955 has embraced the role with vigor, emerging as one of the leading urban centers in the new millennium. Spread between an ultramodern waterfront and an ancient fort, Cardiff has seemingly surprised even itself with how alluring it has become.

Cardiff Castle
At its heart is a medieval keep, but it is the later additions to the castle that capture the imagination. During Victorian times, flamboyant mock-Gothic features were implanted onto this relic, including a lavish banqueting hall and a clock tower. You can access some of this extravagant fantasy world with regular castle entry while the rest of the castle can be visited as part of a guided tour. From 1776 – 1947, when the castle was donated to the city, it was the Butes private domain, the family that transformed this city from a small town to the biggest coal port in the world. The motte-and-bailey Norman shell keep and the 13th-century Black Tower are the most traditional castle-like bits.

Bute Park
Flanked by the River Taff and the Cardiff Castle, this park was donated along with the castle to the city in 1947. With Llandaff Fields, Pontcanna Fields, and Sophia Gardens, it forms a green corridor stretching northwest for about 1.5 miles to Llandaff. All used to be part of the vast holdings of the Buttes. Cooper’s Field is a stone circle erected when this city hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1978. Drawn out in brick on the nearby lawn are the 13th-century Blackfriars Priory dimensions, which was in 1404 destroyed when Cardiff was attacked by Owain Glyndwr. In 1538, the building was finally vacated when Britain’s monasteries were dissolved by Henry VIII.

National Museum Cardiff
Mainly devoted to art and natural history, this magnificent neoclassical building is the centerpiece of the 7 institutions scattered around the country that jointly form the National Museum. It is one of the best museums in Britain; you will need at least 3 hours to do justice here. The Evolution of Wales exhibition whizzes visitors through Wales geological history. It is a lively multimedia exhibit placing the country into a global context. Aerial footage of the country’s landscape and films of volcanic eruptions explain the formation of the scenery, while woolly mammoths and model dinosaurs help the children interested.

St. Fagans National History Museum
Historical buildings from different parts of the country have been demolished and reconstructed in the semi-rural surrounds of St. Fagans village. Over 40 buildings are on display, including an 18th-century Unitarian chapel, a school, a watermill, barns, and thatched farmhouses. You will need about half a day to do justice to the entire complex.

Kaohsiung, Taiwan Travel Guide

Kaohsiung lies in southwestern Taiwan by the waters of Taiwan Strait. The city of Kaohsiung has grown from a trading village to the busiest harbor in Taiwan over the past three centuries. As an industrial and shipping powerhouse, this city has had a gritty past. But now a fresh wind is blowing, creating a creative, modern, and livable city that is still honoring its hardworking beginnings.

The island of Cijin is a short ferry ride from Kaohsiung’s downtown. It is a place where the sea meets the city. This district serves not only as the harbor’s natural breakwater, but it has been home to Kaohsiung’s fishing families for many generations.

Time slows down here and one of the best ways to experience the island’s rhythms is by bicycle or on foot. The Tianhou Temple is dedicated to the protector of fishermen and sailors, the goddess Matzu. Follow the dramatic coastal paths, then climb the fort and lighthouse for a commanding view over the city.

If you want to swap mountain air for sea air, head to the Monkey Mountain. Meet the furry residents of the forest and pause for a tea before climbing upward for a greater view. Running right through the heart of the city is the Love River. It was once a neglected drain and its transformation is a reflection of a city that has awakened to its natural beauty. Explore the lake in a clockwise direction from the Old Wall of Fengshan remains.

At the Tiger and Dragon Pagodas, entering from the dragon’s mouth and exiting through the tiger’s, it is believed to transform bad luck into good fortune. Pay respect to the God of War and the Goddess of Mercy. The Xuan Wu, a Mysterious Warrior is a towering statue further around the lake which rises from the waters.

Lotus Lake is also surrounded by traditional temples such as the extraordinary Tianfu Palace, and the largest Confucian Temple in Taiwan. This area is filled with food stalls, so ensure you enjoy a snack as the sun sets and the lake starts to light up in all its heavenly glory.


Follow your nose to the Luihe Night Market after a busy day with the gods. It is one of the largest markets in Asia. Drift along with the human tide with the canyon of neon-lit stalls that serves different fruits of the sea. It is in moments like this we realize cities are also like oceans and each has its unique moods and currents. Come to Kaohsiung to dive into Taiwan’s best-kept secret by the sea.

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Travel Guide

Kailua-Kona is located on the Big Island and features an almost perfect weather – mostly sunny and dry. There are also various white sand beaches you can visit. Here are the top must-see attractions in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

Kona Surf Adventure

You can take surf lessons at Kona Surf Adventure whether you are a beginner or an experienced surfer with some of the Big Island’s best instructors.

Ali’i Drive

This is the main street of Kailua-Kona and is a coastal road on the Bay of Kailúa. Ali’i Drive is home to many churches, markets, shops, hotels, and historical sites.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Take a trip around Hawaii on the Norwegian Cruise Line – the pride of America. It is a luxurious cruise ship that sails round trip around Hawaii throughout the year. Experiencing one exotic island to the next is a great way to learn about the Hawaiian culture.

Royal Hotel Kona Resort

This resort is located on a scenic oceanfront that overlooks Kailua Bay and is just within the ideal walking distance to historical sites, shops, restaurants, as well as other activities. The Resort is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean’s crystal-clear waters, which promises the perfect views.

Iron Man Triathlon

The Iron Man Triathlon is an annual event that has been holding in Hawaii since 1978. It is an annual culmination of a series of qualification races that are held around the world. It is the ground for the absolute best from around the world.

Kailua Bay

The Kailua Bay is a picturesque bay featuring stunning white sand beaches where you can boat, dive, snorkel, swim, or get great views of sea life.

Wildlife Adventure

Hawaii allows for vast marine life since it is one of the most isolated landmasses on earth. Here, you can swim with dolphins, manta rays, or spot whales as they leap out of the water. This is definitely that a must-do when you are in Kailua Kona.

Captain Cook Monument Snorkeling

This monument is considered one of Hawaii’s most beautiful snorkeling spots. If offers visitors excellent visibility, and it is not unusual to come across dolphins and green turtles. Although accessing this place on foot can be quite challenging, it is no doubt a great spot any snorkeler visiting Hawaii should see.

Kailua Harbor

This Harbor is known for some of the best snorkeling, diving, and sport fishing in the world right off the Kona Coast. You can go on diving adventures here that will bring you close to large dolphins, whale sharks, and manta rays. You can end the perfect day in this paradise with a beautiful boat ride while catching a view of the magnificent humpback whales.

Grindelwald, Switzerland Travel Guide

Grindelwald is a village in the Bernese Alps and is a famous for hiking in summer and skiing in winter. The sublime natural assets of this village are film-set stuff – the crown-like peak of Wetterhorn, the gleaming tongues of Unterer and Oberer Glaciers, and the chiseled features of the north face of Eiger’s will make any visitor swoon, stare, and rush for their camera.

In the late 19th century, hikers and skiers cottoned onto its charm, which makes it one of the oldest resorts in Switzerland. Over the decades it has lost none of its appeals, with verdant pastures and geranium-studded Alpine chalets set against a spectacular backdrop. Here are the must-see attractions in Grindelwald, Switzerland.

Jungfraujoch Trip

The Jungfraujoch train is Europe’s highest train station, and it runs between the Valais in Switzerland and the Bernese Highlands. It is located in a magnificent landscape of eternal glaciers and snow. You will also get to enjoy the breathtaking views along the way.

Grosse Scheidegg

The Grosse Scheidegg (Golden Pass Line) is a popular hiking destination, and it features thundering ice falling from glaciers, majestic gushing waterfalls, and the idyllic sound of cowbells accompanying you along the way. Here, you can set the scene for an impressive and fabulous landscape in the Swiss Alp’s heart.

The Eiger

This 13,015-foot mountain is located in the Bernese Alps and it overlooks Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald. The Eiger is a popular mountain that is mostly climbed by only the most experienced climbers but many tourists come from across the world to get a glimpse of this majestic mountain.


Bachalpsee is an easy walk and one of Grindelwald’s most popular hikes. The walk is unexpectedly not overcrowded, so it allows you to rest peacefully while enjoying the enchanting scenery and the silence.


If you are in this region, then you have to take a trip to one of Switzerland’s most iconic cities – Interlaken. You will find a good deal of adrenalin-loaded activities around this town. With the beautiful scenery of Jungfrau, Mönch, and Eiger, this town is the gateway to the Jungfrau region and Switzerland’s hottest adventure destination. If this touristy town is not your thing, then the amazing waterfalls and the mountain’s backdrop will leave you speechless.

Schynige Platte

Schynige Platte is a plateau with an altitude of about 1967 meter. The ride that gets you here is an attraction in itself. The narrow-gauge cogwheel train offers you spectacular views along the way.

Gibraltar Travel Guide

Nestled at the bottom of the Spanish mainland sits Gibraltar a tiny piece of Britain in the Mediterranean. At just two and a half miles long, this British colony is no larger than a small town but with a long and fascinating history and a host of highlights this home from home still has plenty to offer. With Spain just a stone’s throw away, Gibraltar is a cocktail of Spanish and British influences. So alongside tiny tapos bars and open-air cafes, you will find fish and chip shops, red post boxes, and cozy British pubs. Here are the top must see attractions in Gibraltar.

The Rock

Gibraltar’s iconic landmark is the rock and no trip here is complete without a ride to the top in its famous cable car. The panoramic views are spectacular. Keep an eye out for Gibraltar’s oldest inhabitants, the Barbary Apes which roam freely on the rock. Cute and photogenic, they may be Europe’s only wild apes and are also expert pickpockets so it’s wise to observe them with a little caution.

Inside the rock is a fascinating network of tunnels dug by soldiers during the Great Siege of the 1780s. These help defend Gibraltar against the Spanish and French armies and it allowed the British to position their guns high above the enemy. During the Second World War, the tunnels were extended at the orders of Winston Churchill. Remarkably, nearly 10,000 troops and civilians lived inside the rock during the war. Today, you can take a guided tour around these tunnels to discover more about their intriguing history and find out just why Gibraltar has been fought over so many times.

Michaels Cave

Another of The Rocks hidden attractions is Michael’s Cave, a large natural cavern filled with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. It was once believed that the cave was linked to Africa by a 15-mile passage under the sea.

Europa Point

Away from The Rock, Europa point is where you will find the only Trinity lighthouse outside of the UK. It’s also one of the best places to view the North African coastline.

Alameda Gardens

If you are looking for a little peace and quiet then consider visiting the Alameda Gardens. It was founded in 1816 to provide a relaxing retreat for Gibraltar’s residents. The gardens are home to a wonderful collection of plants and wildlife. In fact Gibraltar is a haven for wildlife and one of the few places in the Mediterranean where you can regularly spot dolphins. So why not take the wonderful opportunity to go dolphin watching in the beautiful blue waters of Gibraltar Bay. This is a natural breeding area for several species of dolphin, so keep your eyes peeled for incredible moments. It is such an enchanting experience in Gibraltar.