Go With a Purpose.
A blog about connecting through places that matter.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gozaic is Here!

I’m very happy to announce the launch of Gozaic, the brand new online travel community for people seeking heritage- and culture-rich experiences. You can now browse through the site, and you can register to become a member at www.gozaic.com.

You can also find out more about the launch of Gozaic on the new “Go With a Purpose” blog. If you have this blog bookmarked, please be sure to bookmark the new blog address, http://blog.gozaic.com.

I hope you’ll also join the conversation by following Gozaic on Twitter or becoming a fan on Facebook.

I hope to see you soon at Gozaic.com!


John I. Williams, Jr.
President & CEO

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Looking for Last-Minute Labor Day Weekend Ideas?

Alas, Labor Day weekend — the unofficial end of summer — is upon us. For many, especially those with school-aged kids, it’s the last opportunity to take a few days and embark on a long weekend getaway while the temperatures are still warm. If you’ve been procrastinating about making your Labor Day weekend plans and are in the market for some last-minute ideas, look no farther. Below is a list of special historic, heritage and cultural Labor Day events taking place in cities, towns and sites across America, listed alphabetically by state. Whether you are staying close to home or traveling, I hope this list helps you find an interesting way to celebrate the last days of summer vacation.

Bigfoot Days Celebration
Willow Creek, California, Sept. 5-7
Celebrate the legend of Bigfoot in the place where the legend was born (and where the infamous footage of Bigfoot was filmed in 1967). This free event will have a parade, barbecue, an ice cream social and games and activities for kids. While in Willow Creek, don’t forget to check out the impressive Bigfoot collection at the Willow Creek/China Flat Museum.

Four Corners Folk Festival
Pagosa Springs, Colorado, Sept. 4-6
Why not spend your Labor Day weekend camped out under the stars while listening to an eclectic mix of “folk” sounds— an acoustical buffet of bluegrass, jazz, pop and Latin.

Ouray County Rodeo
Ridgway, Colorado, Sept. 6-7
Experience the rodeo in a place where the spirit of the Old West lives on. Ridgway is known as the “Gateway to the San Juans” and provides the perfect, rugged mountain setting for the Ouray County Rodeo.

Fox Valley Folk Music & Storytelling Festival
Geneva, Illinois Sept. 6-7
This festival offers folk music and stories on eight stages, plus master classes and a special workshop from “songmaker” Peggy Seeger, half-sister of folk music legend Pete Seeger.

Wabash & Erie Canal Boat Rides
Delphi, Indiana, Sept. 5-7
This is the last weekend of the canal boat season at Wabash & Erie Canal, so this is a great time to hop on board and enjoy a lazy ride through history.

7th Annual WorldFest
Louisville, Kentucky, Sept. 4-5
WorldFest celebrates the cultural diversity of the city of Louisville and hosts the largest collection of ethnic restaurants, vendors and exhibitors at any one event in the state of Kentucky. Enjoy a wide variety of international cuisine, entertainment and crafts at this multicultural event.

Goldonna Drake Salt Works Festival
Goldonna, Louisiana, Sept. 5
Located deep in the heart of the Kisatchie National Forest, Goldonna was an important trade center during the Civil War, providing salt to Confederate troops. The Goldonna Drake Salt Works Festival celebrates this rich heritage with entertainment, food and arts and crafts.

Cane River Zydeco Festival
Natchitoches, Louisiana, Sept. 4-5
If you enjoy roots music of the South and Cajun/Creole culture, then you’ll definitely enjoy attending the Cane River Zydeco Festival. Held on the banks of the Cane River in historic Downtown Natchitoches, the festival is two days of Zydeco music, dancing and good times.

Blues Block Party in the Park
Natchez, Mississippi, Sept. 4
Join the celebration at 7pm in Jack Waite Park to dedicate a Mississippi Blue Trail Marker to Natchez native George “Papa” Lightfoot. Enjoy live blues music by the Natchez Bluff Blues Band featuring Y.Z. Ealey.

Harvest Craft Festival at the Amherst Museum
Amherst, New York, Sept. 5-6
Take your family back in time with a visit to Western New York’s fastest growing family festival. This two-day event has more than 80 artisans selling handmade items on the grounds of the Amherst Museum.

Western New York German American Heritage Festival
Cheektowaga, New York, Sept. 5-6
For just $3, you can immerse yourself in the German heritage of the region at Cheektowaga Town Park in Cheektowaga, near Buffalo. Celebrate with German food, beer and entertainment, as well as games and activities for the kids. For more info, email GAMBusinessManager@msn.com.

Labor Day Fireworks Extravaganza at the Genesee Country Village & Museum
Mumford, New York, Sept. 5
This annual evening display is one of only two of its kind in the country and is set to the theme “Building a Nation.” It tops off a day of live music, food and activities — you can even visit the museum to learn more about 19th-century life.

Blackstone River Tour, Blackstone River Valley
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Sept. 6
Here’s a relaxing way to spend your Labor Day weekend: floating lazily down a beautiful Northeastern river. Explore the natural and cultural heritage of the Blackstone River with a 45-minute narrated river cruise aboard the Blackstone Valley Explorer. By the way, river tours on this Labor Day Sunday are FREE!

Pawtucket Arts Festival
Pawtucket, Rhode Island Sept. 4-7
The Pawtucket Arts Festival features all forms of art (like music, visual arts and literature) as well as culture from around the world. It’s actually a two-month-long event, and Labor Day weekend is the second to last weekend to enjoy all the festival has to offer. If you love film, check out the Pawtucket Film Festival, happening all weekend.

11th Annual Labor Day Open House at the Museum of Work & Culture
Woonsocket, Rhode Island, Sept. 7
The museum’s signature event commemorates Woonsocket’s first Labor Day celebration in 1899 and seeks to enrich the public on the history of labor and Labor Day in the region. Admission to both the museum and the open house event is free on Labor Day, and includes a special commemorative play entitled “The ITU Meeting.”

Kerrville Wine & Music Festival
Kerrville, Texas, Sept. 4-6
The Hill Country of Central Texas has a growing wine culture (both growing and tasting), and Kerrville is right in the heart of it. Enjoy the wines, music, and spectacular scenery the region has to offer at this annual Labor Day weekend festival.

Herndon Labor Day Jazz & Wine Festival
Herndon, Virginia, Sept. 7
Held in the Town Green of historic downtown Herndon in Northern Virginia, this festival offers visitors a taste of local jazz artists and wine favorites from the region's wineries.

Basement to Attic Tours of Liberia Mansion
Manassas, Virginia, Sept. 5
The Liberia Mansion, a Civil War-era plantation house that served as military headquarters for generals of both the North and South, is opening its doors for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at its ongoing restoration.

BugOut 66 at the Old Dominion Speedway
Manassas, Virginia, Sept. 6
Can’t get enough of bugs? Not those kind of bugs — VW Bugs! BugOut 66 is one of the largest Volkswagen car show events in the world and treats enthusiasts to drag races, rare and exotic VWs and more.

GrahamFestUSA at Grahams Mansion
Max Meadows, Virginia, Sept. 5-6
Currently in its 3rd year, GrahamFest is an annual music festival celebrating “our founding families, our unique music, the spirit of the American people” with rock, bluegrass and country music. Regular tours are held of the Major Grahams Mansion, which was voted by the Sci Fi Channel as being one of the top four haunted places in America.

Blanding Famers’ Market
Blanding, Utah, Sept. 5
Mark the end of summer—and get ready for fall—with a trip the Blanding Farmer’s Market, which offers fresh produce, music, crafts and more in the cool mountain air. What could be better?

“Labor & Leisure” at Billings Farm Museum
Woodstock, Vermont, Sept. 7
Spend your Labor Day doing some housework — 1800s-style. Take a trip back in time to learn the latest techniques in woodcutting, ice cream making, and fence building — right on the grounds of an operating dairy farm.

Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend!


Kari Rippetoe is the Marketing Manager at Heritage Travel, Inc., a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Photo Credit: Bigfoot Days Celebration, Flickr, by redwoodcoaster

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

34 More Twittering Historic Hotels, Inns and Lodges

As promised in Part 1, 32 Twittering Historic Hotels, Inns and Lodges, we now offer you Part 2 with 34 more properties. This list is of historic hotels, inns and lodges in the states Maryland through West Virginia (alphabetically).

Once again, these properties are keeping their guests connected with information regarding not only their own offerings but those of the surrounding areas — the sites, activities and events that their guests may be interested in experiencing.

Without further delay, here are 34 more historic hotels, inns and lodges on Twitter:

*Member of Historic Hotels of America, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and a brand of Preferred Hotel Group.

Inns of Annapolis*
Annapolis, Maryland

Portland Regency Hotel*
Portland, Maine

Grand Hotel*
Mackinac Island, Michigan

Island House Hotel*
Mackinac Island, Michigan

Firelight Inn
Duluth, Minnesota

Raphael Hotel*
Kansas City, Missouri

Monmouth Plantation*
Natchez, Mississippi

The Carolina Inn*
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa*
Asheville, North Carolina

Old Edwards Inn*
Highlands, North Carolina

Mast Farm Inn
Valle Crucis, North Carolina

Eagle Mountain House*
Jackson, New Hampshire

Hancock Inn
Hancock, New Hampshire

The Governors Inn
Rochester, New Hampshire

New York
http://twitter.com/Algonqueen (tweets from the Algonquin’s resident cat, Matilda)

Otesaga Resort Hotel*
Cooperstown, New York

Greenville Arms
Greenville, New York

The Cincinnatian*
Cincinnati, Ohio

Timberline Lodge
Mt. Hood, Oregon

Lancaster Arts Hotel*
Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Skytop Lodge*
Skytop, Pennsylvania

Yorktowne Hotel*
York, Pennsylvania

Fern Hall Inn
Clifford Township, Pennsylvania

Hotel El Convento*
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Vanderbilt Hall*
Newport, Rhode Island

Francis Marion Hotel*
Charleston, South Carolina

Memphis, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

LaSalle Hotel*
Bryan, Texas

Stonewall Jackson Hotel*
Staunton, Virginia

Holladay House
Orange, Virginia

Middlebury Inn*
Middlebury, Vermont

Pfister Hotel*
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Elkhorn Inn
Landgraff, West Virginia

What is your favorite historic hotel, inn, B&B or lodge on Twitter? Post your suggestions in the comments section below!


Kari Rippetoe is the Marketing Manager at Heritage Travel, Inc., a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Photo credit: Flickr, “Grand Hotel Fountain,” by yark64

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

32 Twittering Historic Hotels, Inns and Lodges

Continuing our blog series on Twitter resources for heritage- and culture-minded travelers (for previous posts, read 90+ Twittering Towns that Speak to Your Travel Interests, Part 1 and Part 2), I’ve compiled a list of historic hotels, inns and lodges that are actively tweeting on Twitter.

These hotels are doing a wonderful job of staying connected to travelers who are not just seeking a hotel stay but an enriching experience in a historic building or house. Historically, the properties are significant in many ways and play vital roles in the history of their cities or regions. Those tweeting on behalf of the hotels aren’t just talking about their own properties but also about area sites, activities and events that may interest their guests.

Here are 32 historic hotels, inns and lodges that are tweeting away with information that could help you on your travels. This is just half of the list — Arizona through Massachusetts (alphabetically). Part 2 will be published in the coming days, so stay tuned!

*Member of Historic Hotels of America, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and a brand of Preferred Hotel Group.

Arizona Biltmore*
Phoenix, Arizona

Inn at Carnall Hall*
Fayetteville, Arkansas

Cavallo Point*
San Francisco, California

Grande Colonial*
La Jolla, California

Paso Robles Inn*
Paso Robles, California

The Sofia Hotel*
San Diego, California

Biltmore Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California

Cardinal Hotel
Palo Alto, California

Gunn House Hotel
Sonora, California

Hotel del Coronado*
Coronado, California

1906 Lodge
Coronado, California

Hotel Boulderado*
Boulder, Colorado

The Broadmoor*
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Brown Palace Hotel*
Denver, Colorado

The Oxford Hotel
Denver, Colorado

Stanley Hotel*
Estes Park, Colorado

The Spa at Norwich Inn*
Norwich, Connecticut

The Whaler’s Inn
Mystic, Connecticut

Phoenix Park Hotel*
Washington, D.C.

Casa Monica Hotel*
St. Augustine, Florida

Brazilian Court Hotel*
Palm Beach, Florida

The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort*
St. Simons Island, Georgia

River Street Inn*
Savannah, Georgia

Stone Mountain Inn
Stone Mountain, Georgia

Hotel Pattee
Perry, Iowa

Palmer House Hilton*
Chicago, Illinois

Eldridge Hotel*
Lawrence, Kansas

The Brown Hotel*
Louisvlle, Kentucky

Boston Park Plaza Hotel*
Boston, Massachusetts

Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club*
Lenox, Massachusetts

Hawthorne Hotel*
Salem, Massachusetts

Century House
Nantucket, Massachusetts

What is your favorite historic hotel, inn, B&B or lodge on Twitter? Post your suggestions in the comments section below!


Kari Rippetoe is the Marketing Manager at Heritage Travel, Inc., a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Photo credit: Flickr, “Hotel Del Coronado,” by Rennett Stowe

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Featured Heritage Travel Photos: Rachel Carson House

We’re proud to feature your photos of historic, heritage and cultural locations—places that matter to you—on the Go with a Purpose Blog.

Today’s featured photos are from Eli Pousson, who is interning at the Washington, D.C.,Historic Preservation Office. He sent a collection of his photos from the Rachel Carson Home in Colesville, Maryland, which he took while attending a special event at this historic site. This is a rare treat since the house remains a private residence and usually not open to the public. However, Carson's birthplace, the Rachel Carson Homestead in Springdale, Pennsylvania, is open to the public.

Here are just a few of those photos, and you can view more on Eli’s Flickr page.

National Historic Landmark Designation

According to Eli: “The Rachel Carson House is a simple, post-World War II ranch-style structure, designed by Rachel Carson and constructed in 1956. Rachel Carson, concerned with the outdoors, took special care in the landscape design of her home, and much of the original landscaping is intact. The Rachel Carson House is significant as the place in which American biologist, naturalist, writer and poet Rachel Carson wrote the highly acclaimed ‘Silent Spring,’ which made her, more than any other person, the acknowledged advocate of the ecology movement.”

View of the landscape Around Rachel Carson's Home

Rachel Carson's Microscope

Rachel Carson's Chair

Don’t forget that you can also upload photos of heritage sites and destinations. Your reviews and photos will be featured on Gozaic.com when it launches very soon, so add your reviews and photos today.


Kari Rippetoe is the Marketing Manager at Heritage Travel, Inc., a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Celebrate America’s Historic Lighthouses on National Lighthouse Day

National Lighthouse Day is tomorrow, Aug.7. This year celebrates the 220th anniversary of the signing of an act by Congress that recognizes the great importance of lighthouses to the safety of ships at sea. The 1789 act basically provides that expenses for the building and upkeep of lighthouses, beacons, buoys and public piers “shall be defrayed out of the treasury of the United States.”

National Lighthouse Day was established in 1988, when Sen. John H. Chafee (R-R.I.) sponsored a joint resolution that designated Aug. 7, 1989, as National Lighthouse Day. The resolution, passed and signed into law in 1988, “calls for lighthouse grounds, where feasible, to be open to the public.”

Many historic lighthouses have fallen into disrepair over the years, and organizations such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the American Lighthouse Foundation work tirelessly to restore and preserve them for future generations to use and enjoy. Many of these beacons of heritage remain in operation today and are also open to the public, shedding light on the important role they played in U.S. maritime history.

During National Lighthouse Day several lighthouses are holding special events. Here are a few that you may be interested in visiting this weekend to celebrate these towers of American history:

•Take a tour (a haunted moonlight tour) of the St. Augustine Lighthouse in America’s oldest port, St. Augustine, Florida.

•On Aug. 8, take a special guided tour of the Point Cabrillo Light Station near Mendocino, California, for a unique opportunity to visit its lantern room — offered only four times per year.

•Visit the Cape May Lighthouse in Cape May, New Jersey, for free on National Lighthouse Day and enjoy special programs and performances.

•Join the celebration on Aug. 8 at the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse in South Carolina, the last lighthouse to be built in the United States.

Fenwick Island Lighthouse in Fenwick Island, Delaware, will celebrate with extended visiting hours on National Lighthouse Day.

What are your favorite lighthouses? Tell us about it in the comments section below.


Kari Rippetoe is the Marketing Manager at Heritage Travel, Inc., a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Photo Credit:
Photo of the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse in Fort Story, Virginia by
Carol Highsmith.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Heritage Q&A With Veteran Travel Journalist Paul Lasley

Today’s post is next in a series of Q&As with people who have a passion for heritage- and culture-related travel. We asked veteran travel journalist Paul Lasley to share with us why he finds travel a life-enriching experience.

Paul has written and broadcast about travel since the time flying was fun. He is a columnist for Westways, the magazine of the Automobile Club of Southern California. He is also producer and host of “Traveling,” a daily podcast radio show with his co-host Elizabeth Harryman. Their radio broadcasts have won numerous awards, including two from the Lowell Thomas Foundation, as the best travel shows of the year in either radio or television. Paul and Elizabeth are married and consider where they are at the moment home. See — and hear — their work at ontravel.com.

1. Where have you found inspiration and/or life-enrichment during your travels?
Travel is, in and of itself, life-enriching. I never come back from a trip, no matter how short, without bringing back some experience or memory that adds to the quality of my life. Traveling with an open mind and being open to new experiences brings with it a state of mind where I can look at my everyday life when I return home with an increased sense of appreciation. I can also find ways to improve everything from work and technology to the quality of life. No question travel can be a learning experience.

2. Tell us about your most recent trip. What heritage or cultural sites did you visit?
Elizabeth and I were invited to meet Prince Philip at a small reception for journalists from around the world. It was held in one of the state rooms in Buckingham Palace and, before we met the prince and chatted for a few moments, we were given a private tour of the State Rooms of the Palace with one of the expert curators of the Royal Collection. Now the rooms will be open later this year to the public, but being able to walk through without crowds and ask questions about the art was a rare privilege and a thrill.

We also had a chance to visit the newly refurbished Whitechapel Gallery in East London. This small gallery is famous for launching the careers of many modern artists from Picasso to Pollack. And just down the street is the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. The [foundry has] been making bells continuously since 1570. They have made Big Ben, the bells of Westminster Abbey and even [the bells at] St. Michael’s Church in Charleston, South Carolina. To me that’s as exciting as any museum.

3. What is your most memorable heritage or cultural travel experience?
It’s hard to find just one, but some things remain indelibly in my mind. Seeing Venice for the first time. Visiting the baroque churches with their amazing carvings in Germany. Hearing an organ that Bach played. Evensong at Kings College in Cambridge. Finding a mob of kangaroos watching us one morning on a country road outside Melbourne. Visiting the Forbidden City in Beijing before tourism and crowds in the early 80s. The Winged Victory in the Louvre. Having a soda in a century-old soda fountain in Columbus, Indiana. Sitting quietly in a redwood forest in the Sierra Foothills in California and listening to the sound of time. Watching the sun set on the Grand Canyon. Spending a day walking the Freedom Trail in Boston. I could go on.

4. Where is one heritage or cultural destination you think everyone with your interests should visit?
There is nothing quite like Washington, D.C. and the National Mall. It is unique in all the world. Imagine a huge collection of free Smithsonian museums. There is great art, rockets and priceless Indian artifacts all within walking distance. There is never enough time to see it all, but that’s a reason to return again and again. Then you have the incredible Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building.

5. What sorts of things do you like to learn during your travels?
I like to feel a link with history whether old or even in the recent past. Somehow visiting a place where some event happened or that is associated with a period in time is very meaningful to me. It could be standing near the Agora and thinking about Socrates or viewing the Declaration of Independence and remembering the struggle and emotions of the Founding Fathers who crafted the document. Being there enhances the experience.

And while going overseas is part of travel, discovering the historical places in America is often overlooked. So much history has happened in this country and through the parks and organizations dedicated to preserving it we can learn so much. Gettysburg, the Alamo, Sutter’s Fort, Concord — the list is endless. Places where history really does come alive.

6. What does heritage travel mean to you?
Every time I visit some place that has an historical reference I feel a profound gratitude for those who have preserved and maintained it. Unfortunately, it seems that economic forces rage for development and newness yet preserving our past and our heritage is vital to showing us who we are as a people. Hopefully, we’ll come to a point where the true value of our history will be recognized and given more weight in the struggle to preserve it.

7. What are your favorite heritage- and culture-rich destinations?
I’ve mentioned some, but one thing I’d like to point out are the small towns and neighborhoods in America. So many are fading away but some are surviving and using tourism as a means to stay alive. The Gold Rush towns along Highway 49 in California are good examples. The rural tourism initiatives in Nevada are helping to save some interesting towns in that state. As I travel I see a renewed interest in finding destinations that provide experiences for the visitor. Historic hotels and inns are being renovated, old shops are being brought back to life and in general there seems to be a small but significant trend to preserving our heritage. I find that encouraging.

Invite Friends

Send an invitation to friends who share a love of learning, traveling and connecting with others. Invite them to join you in growing this new online community!
Your name
Your email address
Your friends' email addresses (use commas between email addresses)