Friday, June 17, 2011

National Parks Offering Free Admission on June 21

National Park ServiceIf there is one thing I love about summertime in the United States, it's the outdoors. America is truly beautiful in the summer and some of the best activities to do are outdoors. One of my favorite things to do is go to the park. However, anybody can go to their local park whenever they want to, so why not try something different? If you are planning on traveling on June 21, then that "something different" should be a visit to one of our country's many national parks.

The National Park Service is offering free admission on Tuesday, June 21 to more than 100 national parks that would typically charge you an entry fee. The National Park Service is doing this as a way to mark the first official day of summer which is recognized around the nation as June 21.

June 21 isn't the only day you can get into a national park for free though. Other fee-free days for this year include September 24, which is known as Public Lands Day, and November 11 through the 13, which is Veteran's Day weekend.

A full list of every national park that will be offering free admission can be found on the National Park Service website. This list includes many of the best-known parks in the country like Grand Canyon in Arizona, Yosemite and Muir Woods in California, Rocky Mountain in Colorado, Everglades in Florida, Yellowstone and Grand Teton in Wyoming, Acadia in Maine, Cape Cod in Massachusetts, Arches, Bryce and Zion in Utah and Shenandoah in Virginia.

Some of the concessions at the parks also offer deals on free-entry days. Swan Mountain Outfitters at the Glacier National Park in Montana are offering $5 off standard trail rates for kids that are riding with a full-paying adult, $5 off per rider on groups of 6 or more and $5 off for Montana residents on the first day of summer. Full details of all the deals are located here.

Source: MSNBC - Free admission to national parks on June 21

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

New Pirate Dinner Theater Replaces Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede on the South Carolina Coast

Dolly Parton's Pirates VoyageDolly Parton's Dixie Stampede is out and her new Pirates Voyage is in as the country singing sensation hoists the colors high in her new dinner theater show on the coast of South Carolina.

According to Parton, "We just needed to do something new and different." Parton was in South Carolina on Friday for the opening of the first show which features actors portraying pirates and mermaids. The show also includes real horses as well as sea lions. "We have been successful for 18 or 19 years," Parton added, "but pirates is a great theme - children love it, seniors love it."

The Dixie Stampede show closed last year and an $11 million renovation of the building took place, which included the construction of a 15-foot, 750,000-gallon indoor pool. 30-foot pirate galleons are located at either end of the theater while the sunken wreck of a third ship is located in the middle of the set.

Parton mentioned that the new theme has nothing to do with the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise but did add "that's a good plus. It's wonderful the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' No. 4 came out and it's No. 1 in the world. The timing couldn't be better but we didn't base it on that as much as having a wonderful theme."

Parton went on to say, "we've been talking about this for a few years. We thought it would be more fitting being here on the beach just to have something like that and we didn't want to build an additional one so we just thought that we would convert the Dixie Stampede."

Depending on how the show does in Myrtle Beach, Parton said she may attempt to bing the show to other seaside markets as well. "It was always planned for Myrtle Beach. We had a Dixie Stampede in Orlando and it didn't do very well. We're going to try this and see. If this is going well here, we may do some more beach destinations with the pirate theme."

The new pirate show is the second new major attraction to go up in Myrtle Beach this season. The tallest Ferris wheel in the eastern United States went up back in May and stands 200 feet tall and cost $12 million to make. It also has one million LED lights on it and each of the 42 gondolas are air conditioned.

So if you are planning on taking the family on vacation this year, Myrtle Beach may be the place to go. You can spend some time at the beach, ride one of the nation's biggest ferris wheels and see an awesome pirate show at a dinner theater. I'm sold already!

Source: Yahoo! News - Dolly Parton launches pirate show on SC coast

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