Monday, January 31, 2011

Destination of the Day: Rivoli Theatre & Pizzeria, La Crosse, WI

Destination 1 in the series "Afternoon Matinee"


This town is so small... (All together now: How small is it?).. the cinema's web site does not even include an address!  No, really!  But for $4 for adults I am not going to complain too much.  If you are hungry before the show the cinema has a pizzeria.  


Now Showing: The Social Network, Megamind, Due Date, Tron: Legacy, Waiting for Superman


Address:
Rivoli Theatre & Pizzeria
http://www.rivoli.net/
117 North 4th Street
LaCrosse, WI
608-785-2058



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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Series of the Week: "Afternoon Matinee"


Watch nearly any film set in a small town and at some point the main characters will walk by a downtown cinema, chuckle, and maybe have a romantic kiss its glow.   The theaters are as American as apple pie and represent a 'simpler' time.  Yet given the choice many would rather wait until a film is available on iTunes and watch it at home or go to a multiplex with stadium seating and digital projection.  This week the GLCT will take a look at the best of small town downtown theaters and maybe encourage you to spend some time at your local theater.

If you would like to contribute to this series contact me at rmaihoferii@gmail.com. Include your name, the establishment, a short description, and a photo if you have one.

Robert Maihofer
Moderator
Great Lakes Casual Traveler (GLCT)






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Friday, January 28, 2011

Destination of the Day: Blue Harbor Resort & Conference Center, Sheboygan, WI

Destination 5 in the series "Mint on the Pillow"


How is it that Wisconsin has so many great little (and big) hotels?  The House on the Rock Resort (Spring Green), The American Club Resort Hotel (Kohler), Grand Geneva Resort (Lake Geneva) are just a few places you might want to consider for an overnight stay.  Blue Harbor is very family friendly with an attached watermark and plenty of activities for kids.  For adults and couples-imagine watching darkness fall in an Adirondack chair right on Lake Michigan.  While the hotel is slightly off downtown Sheboygan it is still within walking distance of the Sheboygan Theatre, downtown shopping, and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.


Address:
Blue Harbor Resort & Conference Center
http://www.blueharborresort.com
725 Blue Harbor Drive
Sheboygan, WI 53081 
920-452-2900







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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Destination of the Day: The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, WV

Destination 4 in the series "Mint on the Pillow"


It is that kind of hotel that even the casino has as dress code (From web site: Resort casual attire, including collared sport shirts, sweaters, jackets, dress slacks and walking shorts.  After 7pm: Business casual attire. Jacket required for gentlemen; dress slacks, dress capris, dresses or evening suits for ladies.).  There is also some interesting history-the hotel contained the U.S. Government Relocation Facility for the President and Congress in the event of a nuclear war.  In addition to touring the bunker the hotel also offers a spa, horseback riding, golf, hunting, and whitewater rafting.   For the TRUE CTer experience a Amtrak station sits right across the street from the main entrance for that turn of some century arrival!      


Address:
The Greenbrier
http://www.greenbrier.com/
300 West Main Street
White Sulphur Springs, WV 24986
800-453-4858



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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Destination of the Day: Caesars Windsor Hotel & Casino, Windsor, ON

Destination 3 in the series "Mint on the Pillow"


One of five casinos in the Detroit and Windsor metro areas, this temple of gambling stands in stark contrast to the many poorly configured attempts elsewhere in the Great Lakes region.  It helps that it is land-based and, unlike others, is not completely isolated from its surroundings.  Many of the rooms enjoy skyline views of Detroit and the Detroit River.  Unfortunately Windsor has not be able to completely capitalize on the influx of visitors and some of the attractions are subpar when compared to like-sized cities.  Windsor-side attractions include the Chrysler Theatre, Canadian Club Brand Center, and the Art Gallery of Windsor.    A bus company does offer transportation between Windsor and Detroit.  


Address:
Caesars Windsor Hotel & Casino
http://www.caesarswindsor.com/
377 Riverside Drive East
Windsor, ON N9A 7H7
800-991-7777







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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Destination of the Day: Quaker Square Inn at The University of Akron, Akron, OH

Destination 2 in the series "Mint on the Pillow"


How many times can you say you slept in a grain silo?  Since I would not recommend an active silo the Quaker Square Inn might be the next best thing.  The complex, now on the National Register of Historic Places, was originally a Quaker Oats mill until 1970 and then renovated into a hotel in 1980.  Now owned by University of Akron part of the complex is student housing with the long term plan to switch to all student housing when addition hotels are built in the downtown district.   The location is perfect for the casual traveler with several attractions within walking distance.


Address:
Quaker Square Inn at The University of Akron
http://www.quakersquareakron.com/
135 South Broadway
Akron, OH 44325-9002
330-253-5970






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Monday, January 24, 2011

Destination of the Day: Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, MI

Destination 1 in the series "Mint on the Pillow"


It will be hard to top this hotel.  Located on car-free Mackinac Island the hotel is one of the first buildings you see as your ferry approaches port.  Listed on countless lists of "must-stays" book early and plan to spend a few hours walking the gardens, enjoying the common areas, and of course napping on one of the longest porches in North America.  DO NOT forget to bring at least one suit or dress for an unforgettable dinner in the Main Dining Room.  


Address:
Grand Hotel
http://www.grandhotel.com
286 Grand Avenue
Mackinac Island, MI 49757
800-334-7263







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Series of the Week: "Mint on the Pillow"


CTers rarely spend a lot for a hotel room.  With all the touring, hiking, and discovering the room is basically for sleeping, showering, and recharging the camera.  Add a breakfast option and the CTer is set.  But there are those few destinations where part of the experience is the accommodations.  This week series is on hotels you might want to consider staying at, or at least visiting, on your next big trip.

If you would like to contribute to this series contact me at rmaihoferii@gmail.com. Include your name, the establishment, a short description, and a photo if you have one.

Robert Maihofer
Moderator
Great Lakes Casual Traveler (GLCT)






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Friday, January 21, 2011

Destination of the Day: Volo Auto Museum, Volo, IL

Destination 5 in the series "Vrooooom"







Located in northwestern suburban Chicago, this showroom/rental/museum has a collection that could make even the non-museum goer get excited.  Where else can one see the Batmobile (TV series), a Back to the Future Delorean, and the Indiana Jones 1951 Ford along side military vehicles, vintage cars, and a set of customized cars based on Hollywood characters?  


Address:
Volo Auto Museum
http://volocars.com/
27582 Volo Village Road
Volo, IL  60073
815-385-3644








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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Great Lakes & Upper South in the News: "Feds grant $25M for downtown light rail"-Detroit News

The M-1 would run on Woodward Avenue from Detroit-Downtown to the New Center area's Amtrak station.


Link:
http://www.detnews.com/article/20110120/METRO/101200464/Feds-grant-$25M-for-downtown-light-rail

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Destination of the Day: RM Classic Car Exhibit, Chatham-Kent, ON

Destination 4 in the series "Vrooooom"


More of a showroom than a museum, RM Classic Car Exhibit makes for a nice rest stop between Detroit/Windsor and London, Hamilton, or Toronto.  One advantage is that the collection can change from visit to visit offering the traveler a new discovery or two each time.  The web site unfortunately offers little besides the basic directions, admission charge, and hours.  If the CTer is planning to visit Chatham-Kent a visitors center outpost is located in the lobby.  


Address:
RM Classic Car Exhibit
http://www.rmauctions.com/Exhibit/Exhibit.cfm
One Classic Car Drive
Blenheim, ON  N0P 1A0
519-352-4575








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Great Lakes Tavel Tip: MotorCities National Heritage Area, Various Cities, Michigan

The GLCT hopes you are enjoying this week's series, "Vroooom", highlighting the region's automotive museums, etc.  For the die-hard auto history buff check out the MotorCities National Heritage Area site.  The region is comprised of 16 counties in the lower quarter of Michigan, spanning from Kalamazoo to Detroit, from Monroe to Flint.  Sites include the Alfred P. Sloan (Flint, auto and union history), Automotive Hall of Fame (Dearborn), and the Gilmore Car Museum (Kalamazoo/Portage).  


Address:
MotorCities National Heritage Area
http://www.motorcities.org/
200 Renaissance Center Suite 3148
Detroit, MI 48243


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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Destination of the Day: Canton Classic Car Museum, Canton, OH

Destination 3 in the series "Vroooom"


The Canton Classic Car Museum might not be the largest museum this week, but it does have a lot of heart.  Located in the southern section of downtown Canton the museum has on display 45 cars, auto-related toys and advertisements, President McKinley memorabilia, and a Eastern culture room.    The museum has a 15% off admission coupon on its web site.  


Address:
Canton Classic Car Museum
http://cantonclassiccar.org/
123 6th Street Southwest
Canton, OH 44702
330-455-3603







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Destination of the Day: Gilmore Car Museum, Kalamazoo/Portage, MI

Destination 2 in the series "Vrooooom"


Michigan has a number of high-quality auto museums.  The Gilmore Car Museum, the former farm of an Upjohn executive, has a vast collection of autos and also manages the collection of a few auto clubs.  The autos are stored in weather tight (but not heated) barns scattered about the grounds.   An on-site diner serves okay food.  The Midwest Miniatures Museum is located in the farmhouse.  


Address:
Gilmore Car Museum
http://www.gilmorecarmuseum.org/
6865 Hickory Road
Hickory Corners, MI 49060
269-671-5089
Open 1 May to 31 October







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Monday, January 17, 2011

Destination of the Day: National Corvette Museum, Bowling Green, KY

Destination 1 in the series "Vrooooom"


There is no other current brand of car that can match the following the Corvette enjoys.   Clubs can be found around the world and this is their Mecca.  In early September there is a major annual gathering drawing thousands to this small Kentucky city so plan accordingly.   For a pretty steep price the museum can also arrange a tour of the nearby Corvette assembly plant.  


Additional photos will be posted on the blog site http://greatlakescasualtraveler.blogspot.com/.  


Address:
National Corvette Museum
http://www.corvettemuseum.com/
350 Corvette Drive
Bowling Green, KY 42101-9134
1-800-538-3883








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