U.S. Tour 6: Tennessee – Wyoming

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Lincoln American Tower in Memphis, Tennessee - Encircle Photos

1 Lincoln American Tower in Memphis, Tennessee

The largest city on the Mississippi River is Memphis, Tennessee. Its influence on music – especially blues, soul and gospel – is legendary. One of the biggest legends was the King of Rock and Roll who lived at Graceland. Standing on the former site of a Civil War prison is the Lincoln American Tower. The high-rise was built in 1924 as a one-third replica of the Woolworth Building in New York City. It is framed here by the Skywalk.

54 N Main St, Memphis, TN 38103
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Parthenon Replica in Centennial Park in Nashville, Tennessee - Encircle Photos

2 Parthenon Replica in Centennial Park in Nashville, Tennessee

If you want to see what the Athens’ Parthenon looked like in 447 BC, then visit the full-sized replica in Nashville, Tennessee. Located in Centennial Park, this 1897 version of the Greek temple shows all the missing parts of the original, including a 42 foot statue of Athena. She is helmeted, carries a shield, is covered by gold leaf and is as intimidating as she is garish.

Parman Pl & 28th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37203
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Texas State Capitol Building in Austin, Texas - Encircle Photos

3 Texas State Capitol Building in Austin, Texas

In 1888, the builders of the Texas State Capitol accepted three million acres of land stretching 200 miles along the New Mexico border in lieu of $3 million dollars. Also adhering to the slogan, “Everything’s Bigger in Texas,” this grand building is the nation’s largest capitol. The Italian Renaissance structure has almost 900 windows, 400 rooms and 360,000 square feet of space. The Sunset Red Granite façade gives it a unique and beautiful glow. Texas became the 28th state on December 29, 1845.

1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
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Presidential Limo at George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas - Encircle Photos

4 Presidential Limo at George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas

The president’s car is often referred to as Limo One. The Secret Service calls it, “The Beast.” The auto is equipped with advance communications, armor plating, defense weapons and a blood bank in the trunk. The typical motorcade includes 45 vehicles. The limo used by George H. W. Bush was a 1989 modified Lincoln Town Car with a Ford F-250 Heavy Duty pickup truck engine. It is on display at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas.

1000 George Bush Dr W, College Station, TX 77845
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Texas School Book Depository Facing Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas - Encircle Photos

5 Texas School Book Depository Facing Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas

On November 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy’s limousine drove slowly down Elm Street in Dealey Plaza. At 12:30 P.M., an Italian Carcano, bolt-action rifle emerged from the sixth-floor window (upper right corner) of the Texas School Book Depository on the left. Shots were fired. The bullets wounded Governor Connally and killed the 35th President of the United States. The photo is taken from the spot of the first impact.

411 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75202
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Grand Façade of Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas - Encircle Photos

6 Grand Façade of Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas

The name Bass in Texas is synonymous with oil and billions in net worth. Perry was the father of four sons. All of them share the DNA for risk taking and business success. They are also generous philanthropists, particularly in Fort Worth, Texas. One example is the Nancy Lee & Perry R. Bass Performance Hall. This is one of two, 48 foot limestone angels adorning the Grand Façade.

525 Commerce St, Fort Worth, TX 76102
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Main Street in Grapevine, Texas - Encircle Photos

7 Main Street in Grapevine, Texas

Sandwiched between Dallas and Fort Worth is Grapevine, Texas. Despite having part of the nation’s fourth largest airport within its boundaries, Grapevine is much quieter than neighboring cities, particularly along Main Street. Here you can stroll among the historic buildings, small shops, restaurants and antique stores. Consider sampling local wines in tasting rooms. If you need directions, stop into this convention and visitors’ bureau. Then look up at its Glockenspiel Clock Tower. It is fun to watch the two “Would-be Train Robbers” in action.

636 S Main St, Grapevine, TX 76051
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St. John Church Steeple and Heritage Plaza Building in Houston, Texas - Encircle Photos

8 St. John Church Steeple and Heritage Plaza Building in Houston, Texas

During the 1970s and early 1980s, the race was on in Houston, Texas, to build numerous skyscrapers. Soon the horizon became the third tallest skyline in the U.S. This construction surge ended in the mid-80s with a recession, a decline in real estate values, an oil industry collapse and the savings and loan crisis. The last major project during the boom was the Heritage Plaza. The high-rise stands 762 feet and has 53 floors. In stark contrast is the modest St. John Church. It was built about one hundred years earlier in 1891. The landmark is located in Sam Houston Park along with other historical buildings. This public greenspace provides a quiet, western view of downtown.

1000 Bagby St, Houston, TX 77002
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Texas Longhorn Steer at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch near San Antonio, Texas - Encircle Photos

9 Texas Longhorn Steer at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch near San Antonio, Texas

The large mammals at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch near San Antonio are from all over the world. This family attraction would be remiss if it did not include a herd of Texas longhorns such as this red and white steer. His impressive horns extend up to seven feet. He looks menacing, but these predominately beef cattle have a mild disposition. The Texas longhorn is the state’s official large animal.

26515 Natural Bridge Caverns Rd, San Antonio, TX 78266
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The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas - Encircle Photos

10 The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas

The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, began as a missionary in 1724 and ended in 1836 as an iconic symbol of courage. During the Texas Revolution, a group of Texians and Tejano Indians won the fort from Mexicans. However, this militia was no match against Santa Anna’s army during a 13 day battle. The fort’s commander, William Travis, wrote in a letter titled Victory or Death, “I shall never surrender or retreat.” Unfortunately, he, Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett and 200 others were killed. Perhaps that is Travis’ shadowy figure on the right still guarding the Alamo.

300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205
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Apollo 11 Crew as First Men on the Moon at Johnson Space Center in Webster, Texas - Encircle Photos

11 Apollo 11 Crew as First Men on the Moon at Johnson Space Center in Webster, Texas

With only five months left before John F. Kennedy’s deadline to land a man on the moon, Neil Armstrong declared on July 20, 1969, “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” Early the next morning, after descending a nine-rung ladder, he said, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Near the historic MOCR2 (Mission Control Room) at Johnson Space Center in Webster, Texas, is this portrait of the Apollo 11 crew: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin.

2101 E NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058
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Park Avenue Viewpoint at Arches National Park, Utah - Encircle Photos

12 Park Avenue Viewpoint at Arches National Park, Utah

Near Moab, Utah, erosion has been busy for millions of years, resulting in Arches National Park. The elements have carved 2,000 arches into red sandstone along with rock towers and balancing boulders. An early example during your drive is the Park Avenue Viewpoint. These monoliths have names such as the Three Gossips, the Tower of Babel, Queen Nefertiti and Queen Victoria Rock. This is a courthouse fit for royalty.

Park Avenue Trailhead, Arches Scenic Dr, Moab, UT 84532
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Old Train Depot in Brigham City, Utah - Encircle Photos

13 Old Train Depot in Brigham City, Utah

In 1869, the driving of the “Golden Spike” celebrated the completion of the Transcontinental Railway at Promontory Summit. The closest town to this historic site is Brigham City, Utah. When the Union Pacific train depot was built in 1906, women passengers were segregated on the north side of the ticket office. Ladies were expected to be refined and were not allowed to spit, swear or smoke. On the south side, men were allowed to engage in this socially unacceptable behavior. The Golden Spike Association renovated this historic station.

833 W Forest St, Brigham City, UT 84302
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Inspirational Point View at Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah - Encircle Photos

14 Inspirational Point View at Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

The vistas at Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, take your breath away because the air is thin at elevations averaging 8,000 to 9,000 feet. They are also visually breathtaking. You will marvel at the grand, deep amphitheaters with colorful spires called hoodoos. There are 13 viewpoints along a 38 mile drive. Each lookout provides a unique perspective of grandeur. This stunning view is Inspirational Point. Bryce Canyon can be exceptionally busy in the afternoon during peak summer months. Crowds also assemble for sunrises, sunsets and to count the stars filling the night sky.

Inspiration Point, Bryce Point Rd, Bryce, UT 84764
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Old Couple Sitting in Union Station in Ogden, Utah - Encircle Photos

15 Old Couple Sitting in Union Station in Ogden, Utah

If you are self-employed and live west of the Mississippi River, chances are you have mailed or electronically sent your tax return and money to the Internal Revenue Service center in Ogden, Utah. The IRS is the town’s largest employer. If you are in the neighborhood, feel free to hand deliver your check. Afterwards, stop by the Union Station. Outside the building are classic locomotives dating back to 1881. Inside are three museums dedicated to trains, classic cars and Browning Firearms. Or just sit for a moment while you ponder how the government will spend your taxes.

2501 Wall Ave, Ogden, UT 84401
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Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah - Encircle Photos

16 Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah

In 1847, Brigham Young led almost 70,000 Mormons on an exodus from Illinois to the Great Basin. When he arrived at present-day Salt Lake City, he declared, “Here we will build a temple to our God.” That proclamation grew into Temple Square. The three most impressive buildings dedicated to The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints are the Salt Lake Tabernacle, the Assembly Hall and the Salt Lake Temple seen here in a reflection pool. This architectural gem opened in 1893 after forty years of construction.

50 N West Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84150
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Erosion Lines in Cliff  at Zion National Park, Utah - Encircle Photos

17 Erosion Lines in Cliff at Zion National Park, Utah

In the center of the Grand Staircase between the Grand Canyon’s north rim and Bryce National Park is the 230 square miles of Zion National Park. Numerous hiking paths, a few scenic drives or a shuttle bus tour all provide inspiring views. You will enjoy seeing painted cliffs, canyons, rivers, arches, deserts, gorges, narrows and monoliths rising over 5,000 feet. Many rocks display these deep scars. The groves were created by erosion during the 100 million years it took to create this masterpiece of nature.

Zion National park, 1101 Zion – Mount Carmel Hwy, Springdale, UT 84737
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Washington County Courthouse in Montpelier, Vermont - Encircle Photos

18 Washington County Courthouse in Montpelier, Vermont

The smallest state capital is Montpelier, Vermont. The city has less than 8,000 residents and the downtown is only about five blocks long. In the center of town is the Washington County Courthouse. The government building opened in 1880 and is part of the county seat.

65 State St, Montpelier, VT 05602
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Cherry Blossom Riverboat on Potomac River in Alexandria, Virginia - Encircle Photos

19 Cherry Blossom Riverboat on Potomac River in Alexandria, Virginia

About six miles from Washington, D.C. is the Old Town of Alexandria, Virginia. The area has maintained the charm of its heritage as a port since 1749. This includes cobblestone streets and historic markers plus colonial homes and churches. Near an old torpedo factory is the Potomac River waterfront. Here you will discover a variety of ways to float by the nation’s capital. These alternatives include dinner cruises and paddleboats like the Cherry Blossom. This is a 19th century replica of a Victorian riverboat.

Old Town Alexandria Harbor, Thompsons Alley, Alexandria, VA 22314
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George Washington Mount Vernon Estate in Alexandria, Virginia - Encircle Photos

20 George Washington Mount Vernon Estate in Alexandria, Virginia

One of the best views overlooking the Potomac River was acquired by George Washington’s great-great grandfather in 1674. 87 years later, this picturesque property became Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate until his death in the master bedchamber in 1799. The first president’s main house is flanked by two others. Also on the grounds are a greenhouse, a coach house, a blacksmith shop and other buildings restored to their 18th century appearance.

3200 Mount Vernon Hwy, Mt Vernon, VA 22121
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Thomas Jefferson Monticello Plantation in Charlottesville, Virginia - Encircle Photos

21 Thomas Jefferson Monticello Plantation in Charlottesville, Virginia

Thomas Jefferson spent much of his adult life designing, building and refining an 11,000 square foot mansion called Monticello. The historic landmark is located on 5,000 acres in Charlottesville, Virginia. The dome and portico were inspired by French architecture. The guided tour starts in the foyer with an explanation of a two-story clock and Lewis & Clark artifacts. Then you are led through his library, see the dumbwaiter in his dining room to the wine cellar below, and view the alcove bed where he died on July 4, 1826. Afterwards, walk to his grave. Along the way you will see outbuildings including the slave quarters called Mulberry Row.

949 Monticello Loop, Charlottesville, VA 22902
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Reconstructed First Williamsburg Capitol in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia - Encircle Photos

22 Reconstructed First Williamsburg Capitol in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

Colonial Williamsburg contains over 60 restored or reconstructed buildings from the early 1700s across 300 acres. As a living-history museum, costumed employees explain the various venues and reenact key activities. Others conduct a colonist’s daily life like walking down the street and removing their hat when greeting a lady. Williamsburg was once the center for the Colony of Virginia’s government. This Colonial Revival replica built in 1934 is how the first capitol looked in 1705.

500 E Duke of Gloucester St, Williamsburg, VA 23185
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First Colonial Settlement Church at Historic Jamestowne, Virginia - Encircle Photos

23 First Colonial Settlement Church at Historic Jamestowne, Virginia

The first English colony in North American was founded by Captain John Smith and 104 settlers in 1607 at Jamestown, Virginia. The hardships of famine, disease, bitter winters, Indian attacks and even cannibalism are retold at Historic Jamestowne. Among the ruins are remnants of several structures built on this site dating back to 1639. You can also explore this memorial church. The historical place of worship for the earliest pioneers was reconstructed in 1907 using the original bricks.

1368 Colonial Pkwy, Williamsburg, VA 23185
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James and Dolley Madison Plantation in Montpelier Station, Virginia - Encircle Photos

24 James and Dolley Madison Plantation in Montpelier Station, Virginia

James Madison was raised with 11 siblings on a 5,000 acre tobacco plantation in Orange County, Virginia. In 1797, shortly before Madison became secretary of state under President Jefferson, he moved back to Montpelier Station near the town of Orange with his wife Dolley. He received extensive architectural suggestions from the third president. When Madison became the fourth president, he again solicited advice from his neighbor during further additions. The mansion has been restored to its appearance before Dolley sold the property in 1884.

S Montpelier Rd & W Gate Rd, Orange, VA 22960
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Old City Hall in Richmond, Virginia - Encircle Photos

25 Old City Hall in Richmond, Virginia

Old City Hall in Richmond, Virginia, is grand and impressive. Built of gray granite in 1894, this Gothic Revival building consumes a city block and is located across from Capitol Square. The structure housed the local government until 1971. It features a 195 foot clock tower among its ornate design. These elaborate details caused the project to be one million dollars over the original $300,000 budget. Old City Hall was designed by Elijah Myers, a prolific architect of state capitol buildings.

Old City Hall, 1001 E Broad St, Richmond, VA 23219
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Abraham Lincoln Statue at Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. - Encircle Photos

26 Abraham Lincoln Statue at Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The most iconic statue of the 16th U.S. President was sculpted from 1916 to 1920 by Daniel French and sits in the Lincoln Memorial. The white marble sculpture is 19 by 19 feet. Surrounding this imposing figure are inscriptions from the Gettysburg Address and Lincoln’s second inaugural speech. An interesting debate is whether his hands form the initials “A” and “L” in sign language. Lincoln has a wonderful view of the Washington Memorial and the U.S. Capitol from across the Reflecting Pool.

2 Lincoln Memorial Cir NW, Washington, DC 20037
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Orca Whale Breaching off San Juan Islands near Anacortes, Washington - Encircle Photos

27 Orca Whale Breaching off San Juan Islands near Anacortes, Washington

This orca whale is breaching off San Juan Islands near Anacortes, Washington. The killer whale’s behavior has other names such as cresting and porpoising. This leap is called a peduncle throw because the mammal is seen rotating and pivoting its body before reentry. Scientists do not agree what this behavior means. It is likely a social signal of dominance or a warning. The orcas off the Pacific northeast are called the resident species.

Ferry Dock, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
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Winged Victory WWI Monument on State Capitol Grounds in Olympia, Washington - Encircle Photos

28 Winged Victory WWI Monument on State Capitol Grounds in Olympia, Washington

On the state capitol grounds in Olympia, Washington is this impressive memorial to the fallen veterans of WWI called the Winged Victory Monument. The tribute includes a sailor, soldier, marine and a Red Cross nurse. The service people are standing in front of a 12 foot figure resembling the 2nd century BC sculpture of Nike called Winged Victory of Samothrace. This bronze statue by Alanzo Victor Lewis was dedicated in 1938.

302 Sid Snyder Ave SW, Olympia, WA 98501
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Downtown Skyline and Ferris Wheel in Seattle, Washington - Encircle Photos

29 Downtown Skyline and Ferris Wheel in Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington is the crown of the Pacific Northwest. With a skyline boasting over 200 high-rises – including nearly 30 skyscrapers over 400 feet – you can see why it is nicknamed The Emerald City. A great way to view downtown and Elliott Bay is from the top of the 175 foot Seattle Great Wheel. The Ferris wheel is located at Pier 57 on the Central Waterfront. It was built for the Great Western Pacific Company in 2012 at a cost of about $20 million.

1483 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101
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Downtown Skyline and Tacoma Narrows Suspension Bridge in Tacoma, Washington - Encircle Photos

30 Downtown Skyline and Tacoma Narrows Suspension Bridge in Tacoma, Washington

The Tacoma Narrows Suspension Bridge was built in 1940. The locals quickly gave it the derogatory nickname Galloping Gertie because it swayed in high winds. Four months later it collapsed. Today there are two, parallel suspension bridges in Tacoma, Washington. This is called Sturdy Gertie. Behind their suspension cables is the downtown skyline.

Tacoma Narrows Bridge, WA-16, Washington 98335
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Haddad Riverfront Park and Kanawha River in Charleston, West Virginia - Encircle Photos

31 Haddad Riverfront Park and Kanawha River in Charleston, West Virginia

The confluence of the Kanawha and Elk Rivers provide a perfect setting for Charleston. This is West Virginia’s capital and largest city with a population of about 51,000. These flowing waters also provide perfect recreational settings such as the Haddad Riverfront Park. Weekly summer concerts are performed at this bandstand. Many of the musical events are sponsored by Moses Automotive Live. Cruises on a sternwheeler called River Queen are also available.

1 Summerside Rd, Charleston, WV 25312
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Dollar General Storefront in Weston, West Virginia - Encircle Photos

32 Dollar General Storefront in Weston, West Virginia

The concept of a variety store that is a price-point retailer (most items are the same price) began with Woolworth’s Five and Dime in the late 19th century. Since then, most of the early retail names have disappeared and inflation has grown over 2,000%. In their place, various dollar store brands emerged and flourished during the Great Recession. In many small towns, like in Weston, West Virginia, this concept is the prominent store along Main Street. Notice the handmade sign for back to school supplies which explains they accept clothing vouchers.

201 Elizabeth Dr, Weston, WV 26452
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Spinning Barber Shop Pole in Hayward, Wisconsin - Encircle Photos

33 Spinning Barber Shop Pole in Hayward, Wisconsin

During medieval times, barbers were full service: they cut hair, performed surgery, blood let to cure diseases and extracted teeth. The red, white and blue pole represents these skills. Through the 1960s, the spinning barber pole was an iconic symbol. Today, in small towns like Hayward, Wisconsin, it is a quaint storefront reminder of a bygone era. Grey’s Barber Shop claims to have been cutting hair for over 120 years.

10548 Main St, Hayward, WI 54843
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Wisconsin State Capitol Building in Madison, Wisconsin - Encircle Photos

34 Wisconsin State Capitol Building in Madison, Wisconsin

The Wisconsin State Capitol’s dome is the largest by volume in the U.S. The pinnacle rises 284 feet. This is only 3 ½ feet shy of the U.S. Capitol. The building was constructed from White Bethel Vermont granite and completed in 1917. The symmetry of its four, 187 foot long wings gives it a nearly consistent appearance from any direction. They are equally beautiful. Wisconsin became the 30th state on May 29, 1848.

2 E Main St, Madison, WI 53703
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Quadracci Pavilion at Milwaukee Art Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Encircle Photos

35 Quadracci Pavilion at Milwaukee Art Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

In 2001, the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Quadracci Pavilion was completed on the shores of Lake Michigan in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The unique architecture was designed by world-famous architect Santiago Calatrava. The external focal point is the beautiful Burke Brise-Soleil. It consists of 217 foot wings. They open and close like a giant butterfly twice a day or during excessive winds. The process takes 3.5 minutes to completely move the steel fins.

500 N Art Museum Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202
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Wyoming State Capitol through Bucking Horse and Rider Fence in Cheyenne, Wyoming - Encircle Photos

36 Wyoming State Capitol through Bucking Horse and Rider Fence in Cheyenne, Wyoming

Wyoming’s logo of the Bucking Horse and Rider dates back to 1918. The symbol was designed as an insignia for the Wyoming National Guard during WWI. This image of the Wyoming State Capitol in Cheyenne was taken through a nearby fence bearing the state’s BH&R logo. This is not a composite photo.

200 W 24th St, Cheyenne, WY 82001
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Devils Tower at Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming - Encircle Photos

37 Devils Tower at Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming

Devils Tower soars like a geological skyscraper over the eastern plains of Wyoming. Possibly born from magnum, the landmark was shaped by erosion during millions of years. The result is this majestic monolith rising 1,267 feet. Along its sides are hundreds of parallel cracks. At the base are piles of boulders and stone as if the master sculptor did not clean up after creating this masterpiece. The trees are Ponderosa pines.

W Rd & Devils Tower-National Monument Rd, Devils Tower, WY 82714
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Snake River below Teton Mountain Range in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming - Encircle Photos

38 Snake River below Teton Mountain Range in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

The Cathedral Group is eight mountains with peaks from 11,300 to 13,770 feet in the Teton Range, Wyoming. On their eastern slope, the cold picturesque waters of the Snake River winds through the spruce-fir forests and tundra of Jackson Hole valley and the Grand Teton National Park. The alpine serenity is stunning.

1 Teton Park Rd, Moose, WY 83012
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Stagecoach on Broadway near Town Square in Jackson Hole, Wyoming - Encircle Photos

39 Stagecoach on Broadway near Town Square in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson, Wyoming, caters to tourists who come to ski, visit national parks or just want to experience a western-themed town. Highlights include everything from stagecoaches and gun fight reenactments to exceptional art galleries and almost 100 restaurants. Encircling the boardwalks of Town Square are numerous bars. One or more of these taverns will offer the ambiance and cost of nightlife you want.

25 W Broadway, Jackson, WY 83001
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Couple Crossing Bridge in Yellowstone, Wyoming - Encircle Photos

40 Couple Crossing Bridge in Yellowstone, Wyoming

Most of the two million plus acres of Yellowstone National Park are located in Wyoming. The park is famous for the spectacular river canyons, the hundreds of animal species freely roaming the forests and grasslands plus Old Faithful. This favorite tourist attraction is only one of 300 geysers in the park. Yellowstone is the largest volcanic system in North America. Many of the geothermal features emit steam. This turns into billowing clouds when the snow falls. This couple’s umbrella seemed like the perfect solution.

View Avenue, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
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Welcome to San Juan, Puerto Rico - Encircle Photos

41 Welcome to San Juan, Puerto Rico

Welcome to La Ciudad Amurallada (walled city), better known as San Juan, Puerto Rico. The capital city of the U.S. territory in the heart of the Caribbean has everything you want for a perfect vacation. The highlights include golden sunshine on golden beaches to over 500 years of history. Enjoy exploring Old San Juan, the Capital District and the oceanfront resort and entertainment community at Condado. You will be so busy you will need another vacation when you get home.

Bastión de Las Palmas de San José, 100 Calle de Tetuan, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico
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Lions Fountain at Plaza Federico Degetau, in Ponce, Puerto Rico - Encircle Photos

42 Lions Fountain at Plaza Federico Degetau, in Ponce, Puerto Rico

Since the late 17th century, the center of Ponce has been a square now called Plaza Las Delicias. It consists of two plazas on either side of the Ponce Cathedral. The visual highlight of the Plaza Federico Degetau is the Fountain of the Lions. Fuente de los Leones was originally featured at the 1939 New York World’s Fair and then installed at Ponce.

Cll Plaza Degetau, Ponce, 00730, Puerto Rico
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Plaza Santo Domingo in San Germán, Puerto Rico - Encircle Photos

43 Plaza Santo Domingo in San Germán, Puerto Rico

Etched into the brick walkway of Plaza Santo Domingo are the words, “1570 – 1573 San Germán En Las Lomas Santa Maria.” The 1570 refers to May 12 of that year when the city was ordered by the Spanish to abandon their coastal location and merge with another town named Santa Maria de Guadianilla. The reference to 1573 is when it was reestablished at its present location on the Santa Maria Hills near the Guadianilla River. San Germán’s nickname of La Ciudad de las Lomas (City of Hills) is well deserved. Wear comfortable hiking shoes when exploring this delightful city.

Cll Ruiz Belvis & Cll Raul Mercado, San Germán, 00683, Puerto Rico
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Elevated View of Harbor and Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas - Encircle Photos

44 Elevated View of Harbor and Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas

In the foreground is Charlotte Amalie, the capital city of the U.S. Virgin Islands and the only town in St. Thomas. It has a population of about 18,000 people. On the left is the Havensight Port where most of the cruise ships dock. The archipelago in the harbor includes the Hassel and Water Islands. The former is uninhabited and the latter has less than 200 residents. All of the wonderful blue water is the Caribbean Sea. This view is available from the Skyline Drive Overlook.

Valdemar A. Hill, Sr. Drive Scenic Overlook 00802, St Thomas 00802, USVI
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Fort Christiansvaern in Christiansted, Saint Croix - Encircle Photos

45 Fort Christiansvaern in Christiansted, Saint Croix

The Danes built Fort Christiansvaern from 1738 through 1749. Their goal was to protect the harbor and their fledgling settlement against potential attacks from the British, French, privateers and slaves. The cannons never fired a shot in battle. Fort Christiansvaern (Christian’s Defense) remains unchanged from colonial times except for an expansion from 1835 to 1841. After 1878, the fort was repurposed several times as a courthouse, prison and police headquarters. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction.

Hospital & Company Streets, Christiansted, St Croix 00820, USVI
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