February 18, 2009

What if I did a summer trip, going to U.S. cities where I could do meet-ups with readers...

What would be the top cities? Help me devise a travel route. I have this idea of a big summer road trip, made sociable with reader meet-ups. What cities should mark the way? I also want bloggable, photographable landscapes in between, but at this point, what I'm looking for are the rest spots, the nights, the local cafés and taverns. Throw some suggestions at me.

IN THE COMMENTS: chickenlittle said:
Althouse needs a US map with little pins stuck in it showing the locations of commenters. That might help her visualize her trip.

Aren't such maps easy to create in Google?
Thanks for the idea. Here's the map.


View Larger Map

Add a pin if you think you might be interested in meeting in a group of readers at a bar or café. I need to see places where there are clusters of readers. [ADDED: The way to add a pin is to get the left sidebar open, find the "edit," button, and then click on the button that looks like the pins that are already on the map. Thanks to Portly Pirate for helping me figure that out.]

Meade said:
Speaking of Cincinnati, just outside Cincinnati, to the east, by a river called the Little Miami, is a rest spot called Meade's Rest Spot. It's also where you will find Meade's Café and a tavern called Tavern Meade where you can order a plate of barbequed short ribs, a draft Guinness, quaff a fermented honey wine called "mead," and then, as they say, get a room.

All the smart road trippers, when traveling through the heartland, always stay at Meade's due to its reputation for a hospitality that darn near approaches a hoosier level of friendliness.
LOL. Yeah, I should quaff some mead.

170 comments:

Amy said...

Well I would HOPE that you would include Wilmington Delaware on your list, if for no other reason than to return to your roots. The eastern shore of MD is nearby and quite scenic. And we would LOVE to meet you. Plus we could show you that Delaware people CAN be friendly and override your earlier experience when it seems that some were not so.

Big Mike said...

Santa Barbara is beautiful. Washington, DC (if you haven't already been to it often enough to be bored out of your mind shooting the Lincoln Memorial) is one of the most photogenic cities in the US of A. For desert scenery try Tucson.

joewxman said...

If you come to long island i would stay away from the hamptons and instead visit Stonybrook, Port Jefferson and some other of the smaller towns that don't see the ny elites. Also some nice wineries on the northfork. Then you can take the ferry to New London and head for New England.

cobaltbob said...

Seattle.

Summer is why we put up with this shit for the other nine months.

John Cunningham said...

Tucson is a great area, but infernally hot in Summer. Since I live in Cincinnati, naturally I favor a stop here. Some great eateries, scenic hilly areas overlooking the mighty Ohio river, a very tree-laden area. Also, Columbus IN, on the way here from Madison, is a small town with much awesome architecture.

Freeman Hunt said...

Fayetteville, Arkansas. Scenic, much to photograph, many good cafes (can come up with a list), people easy to talk to as mentioned in other thread. Actually if your route somehow included the bit of 540 between Fort Smith (not a place to stop) and Fayetteville, that's an incredibly scenic bit of highway.

Also, have you ever driven that piece of Interstate 10 (Is that it? CA people, help me out.) just east of San Diego? Most otherworldly bit of highway I've ever seen. Looks like you're driving around Mars.

Meade said...

Speaking of Cincinnati, just outside Cincinnati, to the east, by a river called the Little Miami, is a rest spot called Meade's Rest Spot. It's also where you will find Meade's Café and a tavern called Tavern Meade where you can order a plate of barbequed short ribs, a draft Guinness, quaff a fermented honey wine called "mead," and then, as they say, get a room.

All the smart road trippers, when traveling through the heartland, always stay at Meade's due to its reputation for a hospitality that darn near approaches a hoosier level of friendliness.

thesaint517 said...

My fiance and I just moved to New Bedford, MA (of Moby Dick fame) and we have found the area to be very photogenic. I don't know how many readers you have in the area and the locals can be somewhat less than cordial (me being a displaced Southerner), but the surroundings are fantastic and full of history.
Also of possible interest is the small town of Bristol, RI. Amazing place!

JohnAnnArbor said...

You went to school in A2, right?

Laura(southernxyl) said...

You appear to have several readers in Central Florida.

Don't know about taverns but we have some really cool birds around here.

traditionalguy said...

I suggest you come thru Indiana again and over into the Shenandoah to Lexington, Va., and then to Montecello (Charlottesville), and on over to Williamsburg. That take you to campus tours of IU, and VMI And Washington & Lee, and UVA, and William & Mary.Then head towards Atlanta going thru Duke, UNC, and Wake Forest. See the Biltmore house in Asheville if you find time. Then Atlanta has Emory and Ga. Tech. That's about it. You may want to rest up before going back thru Nashville (Vanderbilt), Pittsburg and points north.Call me if you want an Atlanta tour. There is interesting history here. My wife is also a Phd college professor born on Jan. 12, 1951, but you sound like lots more fun than us Traditionalists.

John Burgess said...

Well, you're certainly welcome to visit Sarasota, FL! Picturesque as all get out. Beautiful beaches, an active night life, and the valid claim of being the 'Cultural Capital of Florida'.

Come with the snowbirds in late autumn through the winter and enjoy the best climate. Come at other times and enjoy less crowded attractions, with the added possibility of a hurricane.

Florida is definitely the last frontier of America, a place where things are new and then renewed, where people come to reinvent themselves or just redefine themselves.

Kansas City said...

You ought to follow the Sante Fe trail. St. Louis is a great old city with a picturesque [sp?] downtown. There also is a nice historic area in St. Charles, about 20 miles west. Take a train ride to Kansas City, to which I am obviously partial. St. Louis uses the riverfront. KC does not. But KC has a nice Westport Area (where, among other places, the Sante Fe trail allegedly started) and a beautiful Plaza area that is also very near the location of the Battle of Westport (the "Gettysburg of the West" - the battle in October 1864 that essentially ended the Civil War in the West).

Then you should drive out into Kansas and stop at a place like Council Grove, a historic spot on the trail (but not much there today). After that, I don't know where to go next, although New Mexico and Arizona have some charm.

John Burgess said...

OTOH, if commenter density is your main requirement, then central FL might be more profitable for your visit. I'd certainly drive a few hours to bask in the glow!

Please, though, just don't make it Orlando, the city the Mouse built and then turned into the black hole of over-priced congestion. Anywhere but, please.

Palladian said...

New York City, naturally.

Kansas City said...

One last pitch for Kansas City. It has the most amazing musuem called the Steamboat Arabia Museum. A steamboat sunk in the Missouri River in about 1856 north of KC on the way to Omaha iwth a shipment of supplies. Some private entrepreneurs [sp?] found it, dug it up (the river channel moved at some point and left it buried) and recovered the contents of the steamboat in virtually pristine condition. So, they created a museum that provides an exact and fascinating look at the products of American life in 1856. It is like a Wal Mart from 1856.
Worth a half day of your time. It also is located in the Farmers Market of the historic old part of KC.

TRO said...

Nashville where you can photograph the male country music fans in their shorts during Fan Fair.

Diamondhead said...

One leg should be a tour of the southwest.

Fort Worth - Santa Fe - Albuquerque - Flagstaff - San Diego.

birdie bob said...

Having grown up near Pittsburgh and having lived in Winston-Salem, NC for 24 years, I think tradionalguy's itinerary is a winner!

Ron said...

I ain't the Ritz, but you're always welcome to crash at the Casa del Ronaldo here in Tree Town. Much good blogging could occur at sites you were at before...and what they are now.

Madison to Tree Town to Cincy...then points either South or East.

MadisonMan said...

I think Madison should be on the itinerary.

If you go to Fayetteville, you should stop at the Diamond Mine state park and photograph people digging through the dirt for rocks.

MadisonMan said...

You should first map out where the free wi-fi is.

LonewackoDotCom said...

Pretty much anywhere in the U.S. presents learning opportunities for Althouse, but maybe she could do a fun tour of the spots negatively affected by the "free trade"/massive immigration policies supported by her frequent traffic source, Mr. Insty. That includes the Rust Belt but also large swathes of L.A.

BTW, I spent four months driving from L.A. to Maine and back and the posts are at this large page. I tried to arrange meetups with bloggers along the way without any success, and that's part of why I now run "sites" and not "blogs".

Simon said...

Indianapolis. I hear that Hoosiers are friendly. ;)

MadisonMan said...

...and you should map out where you can get gas uncontaminated by ethanol.

Seriously, I'd suggest: Memphis, and a trip to the National Civil Rights Museum. Chesterton MD on the eastern shore, or Wickford, RI. Both very scenic towns. Hatteras Light house. Dollywood. Mammoth Caves National Park in Kentucky. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the UP. I don't know the concentration of blog readers at those locations, however.

LonewackoDotCom said...

BTW: Here's a clickable map showing the aforementioned trip. The northern route was from the end of August to about mid-October, the southern route was the return.

Regarding Arkansas, how about the Huckabee Bucks tour? That would involve following the money on why the Huckster wanted the Mexicangovernment to build their next consulate in his state, and would include fun tours of that state's wonderful chicken "processors" and the like. That would also include, of course, a stop in Fort Smith.

blake said...

Well, yes, road trips are fine and all that...

...but when is ALT-CON?!

Jason (the commenter) said...

Florida is nice. But in summer everyone will be wearing shorts!

Charlie said...

Maine. In the summer.

reader_iam said...

My response? More about the schedule than the place. Suspect you'll land in at least more than one place with potential proximity, but timing--in my case--plays trump.Once you got it, lay it out.

***

(The above was originally written as an @althouse *two-tweets* Twitter which included an additional thought, but then decided: Sooo not in the mood for tweet-paring just this sec.)

MadisonMan said...

Dollywood, Six Flags in IL, Branson, MO, Disneyworld, Disneyland, Hershey Park. Little Amerikka. Isn't there some amusement park thing in Williamsburg? Coney Is. All sorts of destinations to choose from, and think of the blogging opportunities!

traditionalguy said...

Itinerary stops: In Lexington, Va the real Hampton Inn, which is a renovated 180 year old Mansion once used as President of W&L's home.Then in Williamsburg stay at the Inn itself, unless price controls and the The Ft Magruder Inn is clean and nice. Then at Asheville the Marriot Residence Inn just outside the Biltmore House Estate, or the Biltmore Inn itself if money is no object. Then in Atlanta, the Galleria at 285 and South Cobb Parkway works well. In Nashville the Music City Inn is popular and not too pricey. Those are highligts with many other stops possible such as DC itself or Richmond or Chapel Hill. If you can fly out on Skymiles and rent a car, the Northern California area has abundant good places 120 miles north(Sonoma and Napa Valleys and Redwood Forests) and south of SF (Carmel, which is the best place in the continental US, and the Big Sur), and it's not too long a drive east thru Sacrimento to Lake Tahoe. Road warrior advice freely given when asked.

chickenlittle said...

Also, have you ever driven that piece of Interstate 10 (Is that it? CA people, help me out.) just east of San Diego?

That would be I-8 or "the 8". Say isn't Fayetteville very close to old Route-66?

jeff said...

Not sure why Kansas city keeps leaving out Wichita, but we do have a number of little coffee shops, cafes and a nice wine bar. Not sure what you got to see when you where last here. You go thru Council Grove on a first Sunday of the month, you have a chance to see 5000 or so bikers out enjoying the day.

paul a'barge said...

Let the trip end with a drive down the Natchez Trace and then a swing over to Austin.

reader_iam said...

Hell, Madison has proximity. Still, timing trumps.

Freeman Hunt said...

would include fun tours of that state's wonderful chicken "processors" and the like. That would also include, of course, a stop in Fort Smith.

Hey, you don't have to go to Fort Smith for that. Go to Springdale, the home of Tyson Foods and the city right next to (north) of Fayetteville. I live in Springdale.

That said, however, I would not really recommend Springdale as a stopping point. You would be better off taking a vacation to Mexico.

Bob said...

If Ann comes to the eastern Tennessee area I'm sure she'll probably stop off in Knoxville to visit Instapundit and Dr. Helen; if she came up I-75 from the south, though, she should be sure to stop in Chattanooga and See Rock City.

I live in Charlotte, NC, but I don't think that there are enough Althouse readers in this area to justify a stop.

Freeman Hunt said...

Say isn't Fayetteville very close to old Route-66?

Fayetteville is an hour or so south of it.

Christy said...

Baltimore or Knoxville, Tennessee would make great stops this summer. How do you feel about sailing? Baltimore is "Monument City" and, of course, convenient to D.C. Did you ever check out Winterthur when you were visiting Delaware? We have the lovely Ladew Topiary Gardens north of Baltimore for your daily(?) walk. And of course the National Arboretum would do well too.

Visit Gettysburg on the way to Baltimore. Visit Manassas on your way out of D.C. The drive through Virginia along Skyline Drive is fun in a responsive car. In Southwest Virginia you can stop over at Mountain Lake Resort and visit the scenes from Dirty Dancing.

East Tennessee is God's country, beautiful scenery and some nice hiking. If you come through in June check out
Roan Bald, a treeless mountain top (no one knows why) covered in rhododendron.

Love Tucson. Drive 2 hours and you are in an entirely different geography. The Dessert Museum is a must see. Indian ruins abound in the area.

Jake said...

Charleston, SC would put on the dog for a visit. Can be hot, but it is always lovely and I'm pretty sure the local bloggers would come out in force for a "blogging celebrity".

Madison Man... that's ChestertoWn, MD. Hidden treasure of the Eastern Shore.

Host with the Most said...

Los Angeles area - Pasadena actually; it's beautiful, while nothing in LA really is.
Otherwise, in So Cal, the best coffee shops and unique cafe's are definitely in Santa Barbara and San Diego.

Kurt said...

I know you've said before that you like the trip through Nevada on Highway 50. Although you went that way not too long ago, you could always do it again and stop in Reno this time. Reno's a great little city with a lot to offer, and if you travel during July, you could catch some of the events during Artown. From Reno, you could go to any number of places in California, or you could start in California, drive to Reno, then go down to Highway 50 and head east.

chickenlittle said...

Althouse needs a US map with little pins stuck in it showing the locations of commenters. That might help her visualize her trip.

chickenlittle said...

Aren't such maps easy to create in Google?

Bob said...

chickenlittle said...

Aren't such maps easy to create in Google?


I think that might be the best course of action. Just have the readers state their cities/states, and generate a Google map from it, with pins showing to make planning easier. I think that it's even possible to provide a link to the readers so that they can input their information themselves. I don't know how that's done, though.

Synova said...

One more for Albuquerque.

I never go out, though, so I wouldn't know where to go.

Donna B. said...

What? No one has mentioned Shreveport LA? We have Rose Gardens, and not too far west of us (though technically in Texas) Cyprus Lake.

Nevermind... I'd meet Althouse in Tucson, Williamsburg, Charleston SC, etc...

I'm also amazed no one has mentioned anywhere in Colorado. Deserts, mountains, forests, secret military installations... Colorado has it all!

And northern Alabama in the springtime... rolling hills, greenery that redefines green... yes.

There really isn't a part of the U.S. that doesn't offer something unique is there?

Except perhaps D.C. unless it's political history you're interested in. Or architecture.

Beth said...

paul mentions the Natchez Trace, and I second that. It's beautiful.

I obviously vote for New Orleans, but I'd warn you that summer is hot, a hot you may not fathom. The later in the summer, the hotter and more humid.

Marcia said...

Kansas City said: "Then you should drive out into Kansas and stop at a place like Council Grove, a historic spot on the trail (but not much there today). After that, I don't know where to go next, although New Mexico and Arizona have some charm."

Jeff said: "Not sure why Kansas city keeps leaving out Wichita, but we do have a number of little coffee shops, cafes and a nice wine bar. Not sure what you got to see when you where last here. You go thru Council Grove on a first Sunday of the month, you have a chance to see 5000 or so bikers out enjoying the day."

Jeff is right. If you come through Kansas, drop down from Council Grove on Highway 177 and come to Wichita. I thought of the wine bar too, but what I think Wichita should be better known for is all the wonderful locally-owned Euro-Lebanese restaurants.

Also, amazing movie theaters. (If you were coming this week, you could see, at one of those theaters, all of the short films that are nominated for Oscars. Last I knew, LA and Wichita were the only places where you could see all of them.)

blogging cockroach said...

hi professor
ooh pay us a visit in cambridge ma
hard by down home n friendly harvard u
and if it s too hot and sticky out
i know this great little place where we
could have something to drink in a
naturally air conditioned atmosphere
right here under the sink

JAL said...

Well Bob, I am not so far from Charlotte and would come that way for a reason. There is someone else who reads the list from over int the Franklin area ...

Of course if one is going to hit the Blue Ridge Parkway in VA, that someone should travel through Asheville, the Sedona of the East... perhaps on the way to Charleston via Charlotte?

Beautiful Blue Ridge mountains ... who needs a place to go? Just be. Walk to the top of Mount Pisgah or Mount Mitchell for nothing and enjoy the views... Fabulous place to take tree and water pictures in the Pisgah National Forest ....

Biltmore House is in Asheville -- lovely gardens in the summer (roses!) also a great private park like place to walk, bike etc, especially if one stays at the Inn on the property ....

My my. What will this trip look like?

JAL said...

Oh Archie! A picture! At last!

How sweet. I'd recognize you anywhere in a heart beat.

HelenParr said...

Maybe you could just stay put in Madison and the whole blog world could revolve around you.

montana urban legend said...

Oh Boy! Charles Kuralt redux.

Theo Boehm said...

Once you get through with bc's sink, you could do worse than centering a Boston meet up in either Cambridge, where bc might be coaxed out from under the fridge for a picture, or out our way in Concord, home of the American Revolution.

The Concord Inn is a great place to spend a night, has lots of Yankee charm, and is right down the street from the North Bridge and the Old Manse, not to mention all the other historic sites in Concord. Fantastic area for photography.

There also are some nice restaurants and cafés perfect for a meet-up, away from what might be a familiar atmosphere in Cambridge, but close enough to most of the Boston area to be pretty easily accessible.

David said...

"Oh Boy! Charles Kuralt redux."

Oh, yeah, and eventually we learned why he went on the road.

PatCA said...

You should come to So. Cal again but do the "mountains to the sea" road trip, which takes a couple of hours. Brunch in Laguna Beach, then a mountain hike and watching the sunset from Big Bear.

PatCA said...

You could also do a meet-up at Traxx at Union Station. On a weekday so you can see that LA is as full of commuters as any big city! Readers could come in by train from the Valley, Orange County, and the West Side.

reader_iam said...

Other than Meade, has anyone suggested an actual tavern so far? Don't think I've seen a specific cafe, or even diner, mentioned, either (ditto the "so far"). Much less a rest stop (ditto). Or have I missed something? Could have, of course. (If so: I apologize, humbly and profusely, in advance of the point-out, but will be happy to repeat en retro.)

And what about "the nights," people?

Sheesh.

reader_iam said...

Surely travelogues & driving-directions are as available on the internet to Althouse as to anyone.

Come out of the shadows--make the pitch! Why should Althouse want specifically to come to you? (Oh, OK--and your neck of the woods. But with you, or bunches of you, as the ground-zero point therein.)

Drethelin said...

you can meet up with me in the awesome town of madison!

Michael Hasenstab said...

May I suggest official theme music for Althouse Road Trip '09?

Donna B. said...

I'm all for Fayetteville AR simply because I could easily drive there within one day and have relatives to stay with.

Though, if you leave off the northeast and northern midwest, I'd have relatives to stay with most anywhere -- even California :-)

chuck b. said...

If you come to California and take the long way between LA and SF, you might enjoy staying at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obsispo. I did. And if you have readers there, you will no doubt be the most exciting thing that's been through that town in years and years.

T J Sawyer said...

Portland, OR. Tad's Chicken 'n Dumplins since the 1920s just east of town. All the rest of the Columbia River Gorge is great eye candy too.

T J Sawyer said...

Oh, and I'll second the Madonna Inn too. Take the slow route along the pacific coast from Portland to get there! A trip you will never forget.

Deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deb said...

"Then in Atlanta, the Galleria at 285 and South Cobb Parkway works well."

Marietta is quite charming, just north of Atlanta. Stay at the Stanley House (we had my daughter's bat mitzvah party there). Marietta square has free Wi-Fi. Lots of historic old homes on Cherokee and Church Streets. Good restaurants.

theobromophile said...

Itinerary stops: In Lexington, Va the real Hampton Inn, which is a renovated 180 year old Mansion once used as President of W&L's home.

With all due respect to TraditionalGuy: no, no, no!

The beds at the Hampton Inn are horribly uncomfortable; although the hotel has an interesting history, you can spend five minutes walking around it - while staying somewhere more hospitable.

Try the Sheridan Livery Inn or any of the small B&Bs downtown. (The Sheridan even has a room or two with a balcony - perfect for watching the sun go down over House Mountain.) The added benefit is that you are literally two blocks away from the W&L campus, and perhaps a 5-minute walk from VMI.

At least when I do road trips, I get sick of sitting in the car all the time and want the opportunity to walk, stretch my legs, enjoy the area from something that is not a car window, etc. Lex Vegas is very walkable; take advantage of that.

theobromophile said...

Also, have you ever driven that piece of Interstate 10 (Is that it? CA people, help me out.) just east of San Diego? Most otherworldly bit of highway I've ever seen. Looks like you're driving around Mars.

That would probably be the 8, not the 10. The area around Julian (northeast of SD) is really amazing, and you can stop in the town for apple pie.

San Fran to LA via the Pacific Coast Highway is a must-do.

XWL said...

What's the one place in America that has easy, cheap, frequent flights from every corner, has tons of hotel rooms, and tons of restaurants? That's right, LAS VEGAS!

I can see it now, ALTCON09, Vegas is pretty easy to book in the summer months, for some reason Nevada in July and August doesn't appeal to some folks.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Look at the time stamps on the posts. This is really the Insomniac Cafe.

jfahy said...

No Western NY mentions so I'll put my two cents in. Go South from Rochester to Letchworth Park and see the deepest gorge in the east. North and East, beautiful Great Sodus Bay, the best natural harbor on Lake Ontario. And don't even get me started on the High Peaks of the Adirondacks, or the Thousand Islands.

George said...

it looks like east tennessee (knoxville) would be a good point with several of your commenters/peers living in or near knoxville-

I know there are at least four of us who are photographers: ann, freeman, glenn, me(george)-

also, there is 'the quiet side of the smokies', townsend, where you can see and be in the smokies with cades cove as a wonderful short side trp-

of course, you're welcome to go to dollywood; bring plenty of xanax; I'll watch the cars-

and there is also big south fork, a beautiful national park north of knoxville-

depending on the time of year, there is ut-knoxville football or basketball and many other sports in which the ut athletes excel-

if you should visit, please pick out your worst portrait so that I may show my wife a photo of the famous personality I am meeting-

AllenS said...

It would take you a little over 4 hours to get there, but the Minnesota State Fair might make a good meetup. Jump on #94 and it will come within about a mile of the place. Aug. 27 to Labor Day. Everything you could imagine, and stuff you couldn't imagine to eat, will be on a stick. Plus lots to see, and hear.

rhhardin said...

There's nothing in Ohio.

George said...

in my previous comment I mentioned freeman as being in the knoxville area-

I believe I am mistaken and I apologize-

iJump said...

If you are heading into New England, and I can't imagine you would miss this place in the summer, you would probably travel I95 out of NY. Your first over night should be New Haven, CT., it has all that you said you were looking for. It is particularly enjoyable in the summer when the Yale undergrads are gone. Lots of pictures waiting to be taken of the historic campus. The taverns--and there are many--all have an ancient feel and craft beers rule. It would be shameful to miss this place!

Meade said...

rhhardin said...
"There's nothing in Ohio."

LOL!

Darcy said...

Please go see the blogging cockroach! His was by far the most charming offer. ;-) And I know I'm at least "thirding" an Ann Arbor visit!

What a great idea to take this road trip, Althouse. I'd imagine a lot of your readers would drive to some of your stops to meet up even if they weren't really close.

joyce said...

Sorry to comment so late---but our trees are blooming. A lady one street over has this gorgeous purple tulip tree, and the white blossomed pear trees are just coming out, and the daffodills....come to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The azaleas will start blooming in Houston and move north to Dallas by the end of March.

Pogo said...

Please come to Boston for the springtime
I'm stayin' here with some friends and they've got lots of room
You can sell your paintings on the sidewalk
By a café where I hope to be workin' soon

Darcy said...

And what could be more irresistible than Pogo singing? :)

Decisions, decisions!

Shanna said...

I was going to suggest Little Rock, with a meetup at the Clinton library but Fayetteville is nice too.

Donna, I didn't know you were in Shreveport! Shreveport is surprising nice. My cousin just came back and said she loved all the outlet shopping.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'd imagine a lot of your readers would drive to some of your stops to meet up even if they weren't really close."

Like Dead Heads, following me from place to place?

But yeah, if there is a stop within 200 miles, why not? I'll be driving to get places myself.

ElcubanitoKC said...

The lower Midwest is awful during the summer: too hot, and too humid. Come to Kansas City during the fall, and I can show you a city full of incredible surprises, plus some of the best food in the country :D

John Burgess said...

First: How the hell do you add a pin to the map?

Second: Donna B: There's another DC that lives parallel to, but in a different dimension from, Official Washington, DC.

This is the one that has a history reaching back before the founding of the Republic and runs up through the current day. It has nothing to do with what's in the newspapers--unless you're reading the WaPo's Metro section.

Sometimes, the barrier between the dimensions fails and you get blurring--as when beautiful and quiet natural sites become hunting grounds for those empowered by benighted policy--but there's an awful lot to DC that doesn't include the gummint. Or even tourists, for the most part!

Henry Buck said...

I think there are a few of us in the Philadelphia area, A.J. and me, at least.

Shanna said...

there's an awful lot to DC that doesn't include the gummint. Or even tourists, for the most part!

Definately! DC is awesome. And one of the nice things about the area that I didn't realize until I lived there, is that it is so close to beaches and lots of lovely hiking trails, in addition to all the east coast cities that are packed together.

MadisonMan said...

The area around Julian (northeast of SD) is really amazing, and you can stop in the town for apple pie.

Wow, there's a drawing card. You can buy apple pie in the town! That's just so unheard of anywhere else.

Pogo said...

My town is best viewed at a distance, such as from an airplane window, at 553 mph.

We do have coffee and snacks, but then so do you. If you must stop, bring a book and some knitting. The waits are Soviet-long. Watch out for the goose-poop; and wear shoes you're willing to dispose of afterwards.

Our last used bookstore just closed. So did the Quilt Shop. You can still buy horribly overpriced sweaters from Norway in our downtown mall, which has odd unfunky shops catering to travelers with various illnesses and always seems veering toward vacancy.

If you were a big business we would try to push software and servers on you. We still might anyway, even if you're not.

We used to be on Money magazine's top 10 list, until we made the list, which caused crumbums to move here, and now we are probably in the bottom 10.

Did I mention the ennui? It's our town's major export.

Brad V said...

I would suggest New Orleans, but I'll be in New York this summer (unless Big Law suffers additional losses).

NOLA is worth a visit in the spring or fall, though.

Darcy said...

Pogo! The song was working. Now you're veering off track.

But it's still appealing. Ha ha.

AllenS said...

I can't figure out how to add a pin.

Ann Althouse said...

AllenS, me too. Some people are seeing a menu with pin options, but I don't. Any suggestions?

Big Mike said...

George, kindly leave UT to Glenn Reynolds.

traditionalguy, the I64 college tour from Washington & Lee and VMI (which border each other) in tiny Lexington to William & Mary is great, and for anybody reading this thread who has a child looking at colleges, you could do worse than to start out in Lexington and end up in Colonial Williamsburg (or vice versa). The W&L colonnade (pictured twice on the Wikipedia entry for W&L) perched at the crest of the hill above the Lee Chapel is still my idea of what a University should look like. The fact that so many buildings antedate the Civil War there, at the University of Virginia (personally designed by Thomas Jefferson) and W&M is just marvellous. Just be careful, Professor, or you might find yourself casually leaving an application behind at W&L or Virginia.

BTW traditionalguy how came you to leave University of Richmond off your list? It's pretty good-looking too.

If you do come out to Washington, DC, you can do the I64 trip by going out I66 from DC to Front Royal and taking the Skyline Drive down to near I64, then south on I81 to Lexington, and east on I64 (you'll be back on I81 for a few miles) to Virginia, Richmond, and ultimately Colonial Williamsburg and W&M.

Darcy said...

Yeah, I can't add a pin, either.

MadisonMan said...

I can't push a pin in either, running firefox from a clunker IBM laptop.

Darcy said...

Hey, will someone who can add a pin just add me for Livonia, MI (just west of Detroit)?

Pogo said...

To add a pin:

1. Open the althouse map site.

2. Sign in to google on the map site even if you are already signed in to blogger!

3. click the EDIT button; you'll suddenly have a pin on the upper left of the map appear

4. click the pin and it'll will ask for placement and text

Freeman Hunt said...

Took me a minute to figure it out, but here's how I added a pin:

Let the map load.
Enter your town in the regular search box.
Your town will come up.
In the speech bubble that pops out of your town, click Save to My Maps.
A drop down menu will appear, allowing you to select which map. Choose the Althouse map.

At least, that worked for me.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

Pogo's way sounds much better.

Darcy said...

Thanks, Pogo and Freeman! I'm on the map. Which is much better than being all over the map. ;-)

Theo Boehm said...

Hey, Pogo, your Boston Spring Song is great!  Even if Althouse can't make it, if you have a little free time we should get together, or maybe even have a general meetup of Althousians here in Eastern Mass.  Drop me an e-mail at Theo dot Boehm at gmail dot com.

I made a goof where I recommended Althouse stay in lovely Concord, MA.  It's NOT the "Concord Inn," but the Colonial Inn.

I drive by it every day on the way to work. My company puts up international visitors and other VIPs there. You'd think I'd know the name by now. Only been looking at it every day for 19 years. Duhh.

It's a short walk to the North Bridge, pretty Concord centre, and many of the other fascinating sights, if you're interested in that sort of thing, in our little American history and literature playground.

There are also lots of dead authors nearby.  As Althouse already has one ghost for a commenter, maybe she could recruit the Shade of Louisa May Alcott to drop in from time to time and help cement her commenters' reputation in both the blogosphere AND the Astral Plane.

Theo Boehm said...

Should I have made that last line, "...in both the Blogosphere & the Astral Plane," and so more Sir-Archy-like, if we're in the business of recruiting another ghost?

You know, I've long felt there aren't enough dead commenters, just as Democrats in Chicago never could get enough dead voters.

AllenS said...

That was kind of a struggle.

Pogo said...

I am very sorry to have misled.

I think she should go to Boston 'cause it's a great place to visit.

My town, not so much.
And my presence isn't the only reason to avoid it. Ba dum bum.

I would surely make a trip to Mass. for a meet-up. Notify Sippican!

John Burgess said...

Pogo: Thanks, but in neither Firefox nor IE does the word 'Edit' appear on my view of the Althouse map. Curious...

Freeman Hunt: Thanks, too! Your instructions worked just fine!!

Jay said...

Althouse, if you make it to Maryland, Annapolis is still my city of choice for out-of-towners. Smaller, laid back, and less dangerous than Baltimore or DC, and yet still possessing enough character and flavor to make it worth someone's time.

Freeman Hunt said...

Althouse, if you make it to Maryland, Annapolis is still my city of choice for out-of-towners.

I agree. Annapolis is beautiful!

Darcy said...

I'd go to a Boston meet up, too!

Jay said...

Freeman: thanks for the props. On Saturdays when I have no plans with anyone I'm usually there, crawling round the city and shooting candid photos.

Robert said...

On your way out west, stop by the Twin Cities. I have a brand-new spankin' bridge I can sell ya next to downtown Minneapolis. I'll give a discount to a Cheesehead, since I used to be one. Better yet, you can have a cocktail in the new Guthrie Theater complex that overlooks that same bridge and the Mississippi river, and have dinner in the restaurant that juts out near the river...plus I believe more than a few of your readers are in the Cities.

reader_iam said...

That collaborative map thing is cool. Not sure where to stick a pin though. Can (ought) one do several?

Shanna said...

I agree with Annapolis as well. Gorgeous.

But DC is not that violent. Really.

chickenlittle said...

Thanks for the idea.

You're welcome. I will add a pin for Oceanside. My idea of social fun is hanging with the neighbors or going to the beach at night and making a bonfire. I'll have to give some thought to a bar or cafe, but it's probably better to go to San Diego or San Clemente.

reader said: Can (ought) one do several?

Hey, isn't that like voting early and voting often? Unless you can represent all those "several", stick to a favorite. Just sayin'

PatCA said...

From looking at the pins, it appears you need to go to Mexico and Central America!

Jay said...

Shanna: I find it telling that your defense of DC didn't extend to Baltimore.

Jana said...

Seattle welcomes you!

Bill said...

I'm wondering about the pin ~1000 miles south of Hawaii. There doesn't seem to be anything there! A ship or an error?

Psychedelic George said...

If the Big Sur coast road is America's most dazzling highway, the Blue Ridge Parkway is its most sublimely beautiful.

Four hundred and sixty nine lazy miles meander the crest of the mountain chain lulling motorists with its enchanting vistas, quaint hollows, and friendly folks.

Fly to Knoxville, pausing to enjoy its modern airport with cold--and hot--running water. Marvel at the all-electric facility, courtesy of the Tennessee Valley Authority. (Sanitary facilities are free. Please wipe hands.) Drive through neighboring Alcoa where electricity is congealed into aluminum. Windows up at all times.

Detour westwards to the Crosseyed Cricket where you can catch your dinner--catfish or trout. Or both. It is still America here. Have the slimy things beheaded while you watch and carry the fillets to the kitchen door. Knock only once. (Closed Sundays. No spirits.)

Afterwards, linger at the nearby 1/3 mile dirt oval Atomic Speedway. Closed, but you can still smell the fried pies and see the fist-fights if you squint.

Adjacent Oak Ridge, its portals, and windowless buildings do not exist. I never heard of such things. Why do you ask? What did you say your name was? What is your business here, ma'am?

Make your way back to the Smokies, traveling at the speed limit, thank you very much, via Walland. Stop at the Sunoco by the Baptist Church and ask if Willis will share a jug or a pleasant bud with ye. Thus, fully libated, enjoy a ham biscuit at Blackberry Farm Inn, a Relais & Chateaux member, bypassing the Gatlinburg hurlbyburly and its many taffy emporiums.

Once highly elevated, dig into a burrito and and watch hippies in Asheville where one may purchase salvia at the town's many quaint 'head' shoppes. Merlefest and Floydfest beckon if you are so inclined and have hard cash money for the man. Take a ride on the Tweetsie Railroad. Peruse the O. Winston Link Museum. Meadows of Dan. Ararat. Peaks of Otter. Forks of Buffalo. Bland and more.

Huzzah, huzzah—until the road eases into the Shenandoah Valley and marches up to Gettysburg. Mystic chords of memory. Every battlefield and patriot grave. Every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land. Like getting butter from a dog's mouth, if you ask me. Just you try it.

reader_iam said...

Oh, never fear, chickenlittle, I'm just having fun: I didn't add a pin at all. I'll be spending the least of amount of time here this summer, and everywhere else I will be instead is pretty much amply covered already.

Shanna said...

Shanna: I find it telling that your defense of DC didn't extend to Baltimore.

Heh. Baltimore sucks!!!

Jay said...

Shanna: despite my soon being a regular writer for a Baltimore-centric group blog, no truer words have been said.

John Burgess said...

Yep... if the Best of Baltimore comes down to Ace of Cakes, you know the city is in dire straits. But then, when you realize the mayor is under indictment and the Orioles and Ravens excell in suckitude, you've got the whole picture.

"Homicide: Murder in the Streets" was the high point of late-20th C. Baltimore. H.L. Mencken was it for the first half.

blake said...

1. Open the althouse map site.

Did I miss where this was discussed? What althouse map site?

blake said...

Oh, right, in the post update. Duh. I always miss those.

tjl said...
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tjl said...

Why not New Orleans? Its atmosphere of gorgeous decay is highly stimulating to the literary imagination. How could a blogress diva fail to be inspired by being there? And of course there's the food and the local personalities. And the heat and humidity give carte blanche to drink, as if anyone in N.O. needed an excuse.

Malesch Morocco said...

Hi Ann:

Take the ferry across the drink from Manitowac to Ludington and drive north 25 miles to Manistee. See the sunset from the right side of the lake! I think I can even get Issob Morocco to show up. We can celebrate with some Kashi Good Friends!!

Darcy said...

Oh!! Manistee is lovely! Great fishing there, too.

Issob Morocco said...

Hi Ann,

Here are some choices in order of importance.

1. Chicago
2. Manistee, MI
3. Peshawar Pakistan
4. La Jolla, CA.

And it is true that if you touched the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, I would most likely be there, with a quad, american, onions, fried egg on a kaiser and onion rings.

Oh, and some Kashi Good Friends for sunset!!

Issob Morocco said...

Darcy,

I think we can tie the 'Liv' in on the trip with Malesch's Manistee being the starting point. Just don't have Ann drive I-275!!!

Darcy said...

There ya go, Issob Morocco! A very nice route. ;-)

theobromophile said...

Hey, Pogo, your Boston Spring Song is great! Even if Althouse can't make it, if you have a little free time we should get together, or maybe even have a general meetup of Althousians here in Eastern Mass. Drop me an e-mail at Theo dot Boehm at gmail dot com.

If Prof. Althouse is going to head to MA in the summer, she should also consider the Cape and/or the western part of the state (Tanglewood for the Pops, perhaps?).

chickenlittle said...

Yeah, I should quaff some mead.

LOL-i-gagging on that one!

Christy said...

I drafted a spirited defense of Baltimore, citing our restaurants and multi-ethnic culture. As I was googling the list of cuisines represented, a call came in from the local authorities alerting me to the recent rise in burglaries and assaults in my neighborhood. Never mind. (Of course, we also get recorded alerts about missing pets, so that's good too, huh?)

Theo Boehm said...

theo (the other one): I agree about the Cape and Tanglewood. Trouble is, there's so much interesting stuff in New England, unlike Ohio, that it's hard to draw a line. If Althouse takes a powder to Boston for chowder, and has, for time reasons, to stick in eastern Mass, the obvious places to meet and greet are Cambridge, and, my personal fave, Concord.

BUT if Althouse decides to hold court anywhere in New England in the cool, cool, cool of the evening, tell 'em I'll be there.

And, if you get that obscure song reference, you win the Trooper York pop culture award of the thread.

reader_iam said...

It's fun seeing/listening to this clip again.

Good old Hoosier native Hoagy Carmichael.

John said...

Wahsington DC Ann. We would love to have you

traditionalguy said...

Big Mike... U of Richmond is very impressive and very Traditional.I thought about it, but had to give the Road Warrioress an arrival in Williamsburg before they take up the streets. I remember Richmond as heavy very on traffic, like Atlanta, and the University was hard to find. Can you give better directions and a Hotel reccomendation? How many Confederate monuments are in Richmond anyway? I lost count at 100.

traditionalguy said...

Santa Barbara is magnificent, and I believe would really appeal to the Professor, but its a little isolated for a driving trip. Of course the Santa Inez wine country is over the Mountains(where they filmed Sideways) and the Great One's burial site and Library are only a 1.5 hour drive away.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Here's an alternative idea (discard after reading).

Althouse takes a twelve day cruise down the Mississippi River on a paddle wheel ship. Commenters get on the ship at the port of their choice, stay as long as their schedule and budget permits, and then deboard where it is most convenient for them.

The river boat makes port calls along the way where meet-ups can be scheduled for commenters who have one day to for a meet-up.

Plenty of photos, good food, not DUI issues, and Althouse doesn't have to wring Silvio's neck blasting down the highway from one meet-up to another to another to another.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Repaired link here.

traditionalguy said...

Big Mike... I can't fail to mention that the Lexington, Va. is also the home and burial site of another Great One. From his Valley Campaign to his later defense of Richmond he was the fightingess Presbyterian ever known: T. J. Jackson, a/k/a Stonewall.

chickenlittle said...

Althouse takes a twelve day cruise down the Mississippi River on a paddle wheel ship.

I have always wanted to do that. Sounds very bloggable too. We could all reread Huck Finn. I thought that the Delta Queen was retiring--guess not.

chickenlittle said...

The question is--do they have WiFi?

Michael Hasenstab said...

It could be the Althouse Rollin' On The River Tour.

chickenlittle said...

I prefer the CCR original.
link

Psychedelic George said...

Delta Queen's kaput.

Gov't won't permit overnight travel on such a dangerous vessel.

Fire hazard. Wooden.

Michael Hasenstab said...

The American Queen was put in service in 1995 and continues to operate.

Michael Hasenstab said...

/hijack off/

Sorry about the diversion. Resume summer meet-ups conversation.

wolfgang said...

Some possible points of interest/events.

Chincoteague Pony Swim, Chincoteague, VA - last Wednesday in July. Wild ponies swim from the island to the mainland.

John Paul Jones sarcophogas, Naval Academy Chaple, Annapolis, MD. Very interesting piece of history.

How can you go wrong visiting towns with names like Onancock and Assawoman VA?

Any crab house on either side of the Chesapeake during the summer.

Richmond, VA. Early home of E. A. Poe and Tom Robbins. Hilarious description of the area in the beginning of Robbins' "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues". Trendy night life (for Richmond) in Shockoe Slip and Shockoe Bottom.

Great Dismal Swamp on the VA/NC border.

And to have fun with the Audi, the Tail of the Dragon, Deal's Gap, NC.

In CO, to the northwest of Nederland, there's a seldom used road (128) leads to Caribou - an old mining town known as "The place where winds were born". Few people know that about a mile before Caribou is the former location of Cardinal which was the red light town for the miners at Caribou. Still some foundations and gravestones in the area.

Littleton, CO. Burial place of Alfred E. Packer, the only person to be convicted of cannalbalism in the US. It's said that he ate all of the Democrats in Colorado in the 1870s. The grill at the University of Colorado Student Union used to be named the "Alfred E. Packer Grill". Maybe still is, I don't know.

I'm looking forward to reading about your summer adventure.

Freeman Hunt said...

Places to stay overnight in Fayetteville, Arkansas:

If you want high end accommodations, there's Inn at the Mill which is next door to James at the Mill restaurant. There is also the Inn at Carnall Hall which is on the university campus and is home to Ella's.

For more standard hotels, you could go with the Hyatt or Embassy Suites in Rogers, Arkansas, just to the north of Fayetteville. (These are probably nicer than the regular hotels would be in Fayetteville.)

Other good food: Hugo's (great but very dark in here), Greenhouse Grille (first confirm that there will NOT be live music--way too loud), A Taste of Thai (have a room in the back that could be good for a meetup--everyone raves about this place), and Jammin Java (probably has the best coffee of the non-chain coffee places, though that isn't really saying much).

As for taverns, they are aplenty, but I don't drink, so I'm not the person to ask about them.

Bob said...

It might be a good idea to put up a link with directions on how to place a pin at the top of the blog for a few days, until most of the Althouse commenters have added their pins. There has to be more than 350 readers of the Althouse blog.

JAL said...

Second Bob's suggestion. Just spent a while looking around -- have to create a google account -- finally figured it out and put in my pin ;-)

JAL said...

Oh crimey -- just read the updates on how to do it.

Sorry.

Per George -- Cades Cove in the Smokies (from Knoxville or Asheville side) complete with elk. Not to miss.

john said...

Hope I didn't screw up the map with my pinhole and comments. Don't exactly know how I did that. Another possible great meet up place in the SW is Santa Fe, which needs no introduction.

George said...

if you are not wanting to visit east tennessee, I'm guessing it's probably because of glenn-

I will ask him, subtly, if he will keep his ass at home-

also, to sweeten the pot, I will throw in a free echocardiogram-

Shanna said...

A Taste of Thai (have a room in the back that could be good for a meetup--everyone raves about this place),

My cousin and I were talking about going up to Fayetteville some weekend and she suggested Taste of Thai. Said it's really good.

Shanna said...
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Shanna said...
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Michael Hasenstab said...

I looked at the Althouse map on Google a few moments ago. The array of pins reminded me of a trip favored by long-distance motorcycle riders (includes me) called One Lap Of America.

An Althouse One Lap route could start by a meet-up in the Chicago area, then it's off to Vancouver, then to LA or San Diego, then New Orleans. From there, the next stops would be maybe Jacksonville, then Asheville, then NYC, and back home. One Lap Accomplished.

Akiva said...

Hey, what about us international readers? Next time you're in the holy land, let me know.

Michael Hasenstab said...

AltStock '09.

We all drive our gaudily decorated minivans, sedans, coupes, pickup trucks, and school busses to a campground near Madison for a weekend of music, blogging, peace, love and freedom, man.

Devils Lake State Park, with side trips to Mazo Beach.

BYO tie-dyed shirts (with that great Althouse photo) and Grateful Dead tapes.

In case there's a drought....

raf said...

167 comments, but only 60 pins in the map. No follow-through, or just technically challenged? I am surprised at the lack of epicenters; the pins are pretty well spread out.

theobromophile said...

theo (the other one): I agree about the Cape and Tanglewood. Trouble is, there's so much interesting stuff in New England, unlike Ohio, that it's hard to draw a line. If Althouse takes a powder to Boston for chowder, and has, for time reasons, to stick in eastern Mass, the obvious places to meet and greet are Cambridge, and, my personal fave, Concord.

To the other Boston-based theo:

Agree with Cambridge; great, walkable city, lots of restaurants. The advantage of there over Concord is that you can just leave your car at the hotel and either walk or T around.

Concord is great during the summer. Walden, ironically enough, gets rather crowded, but the town is gorgeous and there's a lot of history around. That also leaves her with a straight shot up 128 for Gloucester or down Rt. 2 into Cambridge.

Lexington (MA, not VA) leaves her with the same advantages, or Waltham, with its bevy of hotels and restaurants. If Prof. Althouse wants some ale, then the Watch City Brewery (Moody St.) would be good.

If she's looking for an inexpensive place to stay outside of the city, try Woburn. It's right on 93 and a straight shot into the city, and, with the right deals, hotels are around $40/night.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Is 'whiggery' a word? Reynolds is posting on Federalist 77 and Santelli is the rage. Can we plausibly get back to whiggery and what's not to like? A few Warsteiners over that would be fun. Do it on a Saturday at Kuby's near SMU in Dallas, and you can still get to bed early. They close at 9 PM.