Located in the southern central region of Pennsylvania Gettysburg PA is an easy drive from areas like Philadephia, New York City, Washington DC, Baltimore, and Pittsburg.
It's chief attractions include Gettysburg National Military Park and Soldiers' National Cemetery. Both parks and the surrounding town are a rich blend of historical preservation and inspiring works of art.
Artists of any kind have got to make this a bucket list trip. The art here is the type of art that can only be born from such an epic clash of opposing wills. It's inspiring and unique like nothing you've ever seen before.
Gettysburg was a simple farming town when it accidentally became the epicenter of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. General Robert E. Lee had marched his Army of Northern Virginia into Pennsylvania in late June of 1863 with his sights set on winning the war. General George G. Meade and the Union's Army of the Potomac met Lee at the crossroads town of Gettysburg and the three-day Battle of Gettysburg began, July 1, 1863.
In that three day period the Confererate and Union armies amassed a casualty toll of over 45,000.
"The Battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in the Civil War, the Union victory that ended General Robert E. Lee's second and most ambitious invasion of the North. Often referred to as the "High Water Mark of the Rebellion", Gettysburg was the Civil War's bloodiest battle and was also the inspiration for President Abraham Lincoln's immortal "Gettysburg Address"." - Excerpt from the NPS website.
In 1864, a group of concerned citizens established the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association to preserve portions of the battlefield as a memorial. They transferred their land holdings to the Federal government in 1895 and that same year Gettysburg National Military Park was established.
Originally a federally-appointed commission of Civil War veterans oversaw the park's development as a memorial to both armies by identifying and marking the lines of battle. Then in 1933 administration of the park was transferred to the Department of the Interior's National Park Service who maintains it to this day.
Bring good shoes and give yourself plenty of time to explore because there is plenty to see on 6,000 acres of land with more than 1,300 monuments, 400 cannons, 31 miles of historic avenues, and 147 historic buildings.
Find more photography from this trip in my Gettysburg Collection at the Gift Shop
Blog readers can enjoy special savings on one Gettysburg print: Worm Fence in Gettysburg Canvas Print
Offer expired until December 23, 2020 at 5:00pm
Learn more about the history of this park on their National Park Service Website
Pike County Pennsylvania has a rich history with the Delaware River and hosts some of the most pristine land in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
This access area is a great spot for fishing but the primary purpose is as a boat launch and picnic area. It's pretty, it's easy to get to, and it's easily accessible. It is also a really nice area to access the McDade Trail for a day hike.
Check for COVID-19 restrictions before you plan to visit and follow this park on Facebook to get daily COVID-19 closures: https://www.facebook.com/DelWaterGapNPS
Delaware Water Gap map: https://www.nps.gov/dewa/planyourvisit/maps.htm
McDade Trail information: https://www.nps.gov/dewa/planyourvisit/mcdade-recreational-trail.htm
Acadia National Park is a 47,000-acre example of the raw, rugged beauty of coastal Maine. It's a beautifully wild example of life along the Atlantic Ocean and a place I have explored several times but still haven't seen all there is to see.
I have a tenancy to stick to the shore areas of Acadia, because I live in an inland state, the ocean is therefore quite fascinating to me. There is a clean contrast of flowing water and immovable granite here that I have not photographed to satisfaction just yet.
There is also a quiet vastness in Acadia no matter when I go. I'm sure there are peak times but I generally find it to be a tranquil visit no matter the month or day.
Humans are very small in this landscape. Seabirds are much smaller but yet very powerful predators in this environment. Small sea animals make a their livings in shallow tidal pools and in the crevices of the immense granite slabs.
I look forward to returning to Acadia and exploring the coastal and inland areas more slowly and deliberately.
If you would like to see more of my Acadia National Park images - check out my Gift Shop
New Hanover County Arboretum is a gem of a day trip located in Wilmington North Carolina. These spectacular gardens host educational programs, publications, and events.
My visit was in July of 2019. It was a touch warm that day (lol!) but I enjoyed photographing quite a bit of the gardens, sculptures, Japanese Tea House, water gardens, and Children's Garden.
Here is a small gallery of flower photography from the flower gardens there. The variety of pollinators, that are very fond of these gardens, are minimally represented here as well.
I do not know the names of the flowers. If you know any of the names feel free to post them in the comments!
The New Hanover County Arboretum Water Garden's Dragon Sculpture.
New Hanover County Arboretum Water Garden's koi fish.
Mr. Robert Gallagher suggested that I go down and see the Veteran’s Memorial Park area of Airport Park in Matamoras and I finally got down there this winter. What a truly amazing park they have created!
You can't really see much of the park from outside the gates but when you get in there there is quite a lot to look at. The detailed work on the monuments is well thought out and worthy of much admiration so I was really quite interested in photographing that.
Here are some photos of just a few of the monuments you can see at this park.
This gallery includes more close up photographs of some of the detailed work on the monuments. It really is very well planned and thought out.
Go there. Look and learn about United States history and see the memorials built for the people who lived it.
Spring is a wonderful time to wander the picture perfect areas of Coastal Maine. Everything you love about this one syllable wonderland is available but without the crowds!
On this trip I was traveling to Maine in April 2019. On off-season trips I like to stay over in Portland Maine so I can enjoy an easy daylight ride up Coastal Route 1. In the summer the small towns can get congested so if you plan to go far up the coast it is often a better option to travel inland for a bit before going up the coast.
Regardless of the season, Coastal Route 1 is a delightful route to drive with its scenery, small parks, and all the wonderful hometown seafood to taste. :)
Wandering up the coast it is hard to miss the Penobscot Narrows Bridge. The bridge is a 2,120 feet (646 m) long, 447 foot high, cable-stayed bridge that spans the Penobscot River. There are observation areas on the tops of the towers and plenty of nice parking areas below to enjoy the views.
According to Wikipedia The Penobscot Narrows Observatory is the first bridge observation tower in the United States and the tallest public bridge observatory in the world. The tower reaches 420 feet (128 m) into the air and allows visitors to view the bridge, the nearby Fort Knox State Historic Site, the Penobscot River, and Bay.
The observatory is open May 1 to October 31.
About half way up the coast we come upon one of the jewels in the Maine crown. Springtime in Acadia National Park is as breathtaking as ever with just a touch of ice still left on Jordan Pond as we enjoy a day exploring and photographing the area.
The mountains in the background are called The Bubbles and create a wonderful reflection when the ice is gone and the sky is clear.
A good example of the sweet little picnic areas along Route 1 is this parking area by Long Cove Maine.
This area sits right on Route 1 and lies between Hancock and Gouldsboro Maine. The tides statewide are big so always keep an eye on the water movement. We happen to be there at low tide enjoying the granite boulders.
Destination: Cutler Maine - a classic coastal Maine town with breathtaking views, nature preserves, and hiking trails.
Walking through town is as pretty as it gets. It's everything you'd think of in a small, quiet, northern fishing town.
The local trails are beautiful, but also wet in the spring so plan accordingly - which I did not do so my hike on the Eastern Knubble Preserve Trail was limited and I didn't try the Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land.
I'll get those muck boots next time :)
I had an opportunity to take a couple days and go on a photo adventure trip out to the west coast this past summer and it was simply fantastic!
I spent pretty much all of my time right in Oceanside California and it was one fun little laid back town.
One of the first things that caught my attention was all the surfing around the Oceanside Pier so I spent some time photographing the surfers. That was quite a fun time.
I hope you enjoy my small collection. I'm planning to travel back there and I'll be happy to explore this topic some more!
Exploring photography has been a life long passion.