Balcony House may only be accessed by guided tour. Cliff dwelling tours are offered from April 1 to November 1st. Park rangers lead all tours, explaining the history of the Ancient Puebloan people and the cliff dwellings.
This one-hour, ranger-guided tour involves climbing a 32 ft. ladder, crawling through a 12ft-long tunnel, and climbing up a 60ft open rock face with two 10ft ladders to exit the site. Not suitable for young children.
See website for current pricing.
Where to buy tickets: Colorado Welcome Center (I recommend here), Mesa Verde Visitor Research Center (right outside park), Morefield Ranger Station, and Chapin Mesa Archeological Center.
Tour Tip: Purchase tickets up to two days before tour day as tours tend to sell out in peak seasons. Bring sunscreen and water on your tour.
Bodie State Historic Park is truly a gem! If you are in Eastern California, you MUST go! Bodie is a genuine California gold-mining town and at one time, had a population of nearly 10,000 people. This boom town was quickly abandoned when the gold ran out leaving stores with goods still on shelves, homes with furniture and the school house still with writing on the chalkboard. The remains of this town have been preserved in their state of "arrested decay." It was seriously one of my most favorite places I have ever visited in my life.
There is no camping opportunities in the park. The road into Bodie is only paved part of the way, the rest is dirt and depending of the season, can be rutted. It is well worth the drive and once there, parking is ample. Don't forget to take the short walk to the town cemetery. It completes the picture of how hard life must have been in this remote town.
Fort Macon State Park is a restored Civil War-era fort, a museum, a coastal education center and also offers a beautiful beach for swimming, surf fishing and beachcombing. Watch the movie in the Visitor's Center to hear of the storied past of this fort before setting off to explore yourself. There are many recreated room scenes to get a feel of what life was like at the Fort during it's different periods of occupation. Museum rooms offer insight into weapons, historical dress and communications to name a few. We were lucky to see a musket demonstration while we were there and sometimes they will have cannon demonstrations! Plan a couple of hours to see everything.
Admission is Free!!
9am - 5:30pm Daily for Fort Macon
Beach open Memorial Day - Labor Day 10am - 5:45pm
2303 East Fort Macon Road
Atlantic Beach, NC
Hubbell Trading Post offers a step back in time. It is the homestead of trader John Lorenzo Hubbell who began trading here in 1876. You can take a self-guided tour of Hubbell's homestead and/or pay $2/pp to take a guided tour of his home. The Trading Post is still open for business, selling food and sundries. Don't forget to check out the Jewelry and Rug Rooms. Traditional pieces are created by artisans from across the Colorado Plateau and traded here and available for purchase.
Hours & Fees
Year round park hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
**Note: Navajo Nation observes Mountain DAYLIGHT SAVING Time from March through the end of October while the rest of Arizona observes Mountain STANDARD Time. When it is 1 p.m. in Flagstaff, Arizona it is 2 p.m. at Hubbell Trading Post.**
There is no entrance fee but a $2/pp fee for the guided house tour.
1/2 Mile W. Hwy. 191 on Hwy. 264 Ganado, Arizona 86505
Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site is located at mile post 446.3 on AZ state route 264. Visitors traveling on I-40 can take U.S. Highway 191 North to Ganado and drive west on Hwy. 264. If you are traveling from Gallup, New Mexico, you may take U.S. Highway 491 North to U.S. Highway 264 west toward Ganado, through Window Rock,Arizona. When you are driving south from Chinle, Arizona on Hwy. 191 you will drive east when you reach Hwy. 264.
Nevada Northern Railway offers 90-minute train rides using original and historic locomotives. Step back in time to an era of railroading in Nevada. You are free to move about the open and enclosed rail cars. Beautiful mountain scenery including a mining operation that is still working.
Nevada Northern also offers railway yard tours, museum and options to ride with the engineer or in the caboose. Great for all ages of kids who enjoy trains. Bathrooms on board as well as small snack bar.
Check website for hours and prices
Old One Hundred Gold Mine is a fantastic tour which takes you 1/3 of a mile into Galena Mountain in ore cars.
You don mining hats and bright yellow coats as you take your seat in a real mining car. After a brief history of the area and the mine, the cars slowing roll into the dark and wet cave. The clack of the cars on the tracks is all you hear as you feel drops of water dripping from the cave ceiling. Once you reach the 1/3 mile area, you leave the cars for a very informative tour that shows you old and current mining equipment, the mine shaft, how they dynamited the rock, and more. There will be some good storied told as well! Once back above ground, try your hand at REAL gold panning for silver, copper and gold flakes with water coming directly out of the mine. New "miners" will not want to leave!
721 County Route 4a, Silverton, CO
See website for pricing
Tours depart hourly 10am through 4pm daily - no need to make a reservation
Tour Season: Usually goes from mid-May to mid-September
• Temperature underground is a cool 48°F, so a sweater or jacket is recommended and comfortable shoes
• Underground portion of tour lasts approximately 45 to 50 minutes.
• Mine altitude is 10,000 feet above sea level.
• Smoking is not permitted on the motor-coach, mine shuttle, or underground in the mine
• Rest rooms located at gift shop building.
• Video and flash cameras welcome!
• Large parking lot with plenty of room for RV’s
• Highly scenic road to the mine is paved for 2 miles, then well maintained gravel for the last three miles. Accessible to all cars and recreational vehicles.
** Tip your tour guide if they do a good job - ours was fantastic!
To get here, take US Hwy 550 (the San Juan Skyway) to Silverton. Drive down Silverton's paved main street through town. Just past the Courthouse and Museum, take a right turn onto County Road 2. Continue on CR 2 for two miles - passing the Mayflower Mill where the road becomes gravel - then two more miles to the ghost town of Howardsville. Past the "Alpine Loop" sign, cross the creek and immediately turn right onto County Road 4-A. Continue on CR 4-A 3/4 mile to the mine. Follow the blue and white "Mine Tour" directional signs that are located along the way after you leave the Silverton town limits.
Tryon's Palace is know as the first state capitol of North Carolina. The mansion that stands today may only be a replica of the original completed in 1770, but impressive none-the-less. The original structure burned to the ground right after the state capitol was relocated to Raleigh, It wasn’t until the 1950’s that this modern recreation “faithful to the original architect’s plans” was built on the same site and opened to the public.
Tours are offered of the mansion, other historical homes nearby, gardens and the North Carolina History Center as part of their One-Day pass. The Visitor Center said to see everything it would take about 4 hours. There are options to pick and choose what you would like to visit. For kids, touring the formal gardens only is a great way to get the experience of the place but keep the kids outdoors where they can do some exploring.
Tryon Palace is only closed five days a year: Thanksgiving Day, December 23-25 (2015), and January 1. For the rest of the year, hours are as follows:
Monday through Saturday
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Governor’s Palace has guided tours every half hour, beginning at 10 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. The Kitchen Office is a self-paced building open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Dixon and Stanly houses have guided tours throughout the day. The North Carolina History Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check with the ticket desk for additional information and specific tour times.
Noon to 5 p.m.
529 South Front Street, New Bern, NC
Tips - The Gardens are stroller friendly. You may want to bring sunscreen, water and bug spray to be on the safe side.