"A little something extra just for
|St. Charles Streetcar in New
Let's face it. No matter how much you enjoy driving, there comes
a time when you wish you could relax and "Leave the Driving to us". No,
I'm not suggesting you take a Greyhound. But sometimes it's fun to see a
new city without having to worry about parking and traffic. That's why
trolleys have caught on in a big way.
Perhaps, you are visiting Chattanooga with your children. Or
maybe you are in Macon Georgia
for a convention. These are only
two of the many cities
that have embraced trolley service
for a multitude of reasons.
had earned the reputation
"Dirtiest City in America" in 1969. Recently the Washington Post
referred to it as "becoming the prettiest city for its size in America."
Its electric trolleys are one of the reasons for the change. You can hop
on a free trolley near almost any hotel downtown. The kids are going to
think of it as an attraction in itself. For you it frees up the
attention you would otherwise have to devote to negotiating traffic and
finding parking. Instead you can explain that the aquarium is the
largest freshwater one in the country. You can explain the history of
the Chattanooga Choo Choo to youngsters too young to remember the song.
You can pretend you are at a quaint tearoom in London when you visit the
English Rose Tea House. The owner, Angela Beckvoort is as English as the
scones you can sample there. The Science and Discovery Museum is also on
the route as is the Towing and Recovery Museum. In fact, most of the
city's downtown attractions are no more than two blocks from the trolley
|Mitsi in Macon
In Macon, Georgia, it's Mitsi to the rescue. Mitsi makes
continuous loops through the downtown historic district. So when you get
a break from business meetings, you can pick up a pass for a few dollars
at the Convention and Visitors Bureau for unlimited boarding or just pay
a quarter per ride. You can visit The Georgia Music Hall of Fame, Tubman
Museum, Hay House, Georgia Sports Hall of Fame or any one of the house
museums for which Macon is famous. The drivers are knowledgeable about
the various attractions and the history of the city.
If historic Savannah is your destination,
their free CAT Shuttle does an intricate weaving throughout the historic
district. It makes stops at or near most of the major hotels and bed and
breakfasts throughout the district.. From the River Walk to the Pirate's
House, this is the way to transverse Savannah's historic district
Daytona Beach has the Votran Trolleys, a
turn of the century type bus that operates along the beachfront Monday
through Saturday from noon to midnight. The trolley will whisk you from
one end of Atlantic Ave to the other in a much shorter time than you
could drive and park. The one dollar fare for adults (half for seniors
and children) could be the best bargain on the beach. Ask anyone who has
driven congested thoroughfare during race week.
Worried about celebrating too
much for new Years Eve? Votran waives fares for
New Year’s Eve trolley and night service beginning at 7 p.m. Dec. 31.
New Orleans has some of the most original trolleys. There are
three streetcar lines; St. Charles, Canal Street, and the Riverfront,
each of which originates downtown but takes you different parts of the
city. The St Charles line is my favorite. I remember riding it as a kid.
My dad actually was a driver on the streetcars when I was a little child
and each year the Public Service had a party for employees and family.
One of the most popular things was the old streetcar we could play on
and pretend to drive.
|New Orleans Streetcar on Canal
If your travel is politically oriented,
fear not. If you visit the nation's capital area and stay in Bethesda,
Maryland, you can live it up and not worry about driving. The Bethesda
Circulator is geared for nightowls as well as early birds. The original
trolley only ran days. Now it runs until midnight Monday through
Thursday and until 2 am on Friday and Saturday. Former Maryland Governor
Parris N. Glendening commented. "The Streets of Bethesda don't roll up
at 7pm, and neither will the Bethesda Circulator. This innovative
trolley service will provide convenient transit for people who live and
work in Bethesda and those who visit for shopping, fine dining, and
In Florida's capital, Tallahassee, it's the Old Town Trolley. It
will pick you up for free at a convenient downtown stop froim7 am to
6:30pm every twenty minutes. In Austin, Texas, the trolley is named the
'Dillo in honor of the slow witted armored fellow you have been trying
to avoid hitting on every highway in the southern United States. This
free period reproduction shuttle will take you to the Capital, the
University of Texas or to most of the downtown tourist hotspots as well
as great restaurants. Of course, Arkansas can't be left out where
progress is concerned. The River Rail Electric Street Car Trolley
encircle downtown Little Rock and connects with North Little Rock. They
are replicas of historic streetcars.
'Dillo Credit Lone Star Mike
If you have a special interest, you may
even find a trolley that caters to it. Pensacola offers free trolley
tours of its seaport in season. It does stop running before the bars
close down however.
Genealogists visiting Salt Lake City have the Pioneer Trolley to
get to the Family History Library, the largest repository of
genealogical records in the world.
|Little Rock's Trolley
Credit Elizabeth Emily
Sometimes you have to be there just the
right time. Martha's Vineyard provides a weekend of service just before
Christmas. Neenah, Wisconsin offers free rides on an old fashioned
shuttle for just one day at the start of the Christmas season.
Marblehead, Massachusetts and LaGrange, Illinois offer free trolleys for
their annual Christmas Walk.
The holiday season brings out some
special trolley tours. St Augustine offers the Holly Jolly Trolley for
tours of its highly acclaimed "Night of Lights" from late November to
early January. Cookies, caroling and other treats add to the fun.
runs their Victorian style Holly Trolley from mid November until the
last shopping day before Christmas from Thursday through Sunday. Hosts
are on board to point out the festive decorations and activities along
the route. Franklin, Tennessee offers a Holly Trolley most of December.
If you are going to a historic or tourist oriented destination
be sure to check for trolleys too. Chicago offers its Lincoln Park
Trolley to encourage people to visit the zoo. If you want to see
Williamsport, Pennsylvania's lumber barons' Victorian homes, you can do
so via its free vintage trolley. Port Aransas, Texas near Corpus Christi
offers old style trolley service all around the island. If you're
staying on the mainland, you can also use its free ferry service.
Downtown Houston has cut down on its congestion by offering five free
|St. Augustine's Holly Jolly
Image provided by FloridasHistoricCoast.com
For those of you who really love
trolleys, Pennsylvania Trolley Museum has a collection of nearly 50
trolleys and all sorts of information about trolleys. It has over 30,000
visitors annually so you know people do like trolleys.
Cities as far apart and different as
Yorktown Virginia, West Palm Beach, Florida and Portland Oregon all have
caught on to the latest transportation service. I know Ihaven't
mentioned them all. So whatever your reason to travel, make life
easy on yourself. Step back to a time when people didn't have to worry
about traffic and parking problems. Take a trolley.
Article by Kathleen Walls
Photos by Kathleen Walls and Veronica Byrd
Had you ever stopped to consider a beautifully decorate
Christmas Tree as a work of art? Orlando Museum of Art has and each year
they offer some of the most beautiful trees in their annual Festival of
Trees. This year's theme is
"All That Glitters" and will run from
November 16th - 24th, 2013. The tree's beauty defies description so I'll
post lots of pictures to give you an idea.
best thing you can do is go see for yourself.
|This is the view that greets
you enter the Fesitval of Trees
|This one is called "Oh My
and boy does it ever.
|Easy to see why this one is
called "Pepperment Twist"
This is the 27th year the event has run. It is a project of the
of 101 and the museum's main fundraiser.
This huge gala transforms much of the museum
into a holiday wonderland filled with theme decorated trees. Individuals
and businesses decorate a tree in whatever theme they choose and donate
it to the museum where they stay on display and are offered for sale
until the end of the festival. Buyers then have a completely decorated
tree that they take home after the festival.
be made from anything. This one's all books
tales are portrayed too. Here is Cinderella.
canine friends are commemorated
There are more than trees at the festival. The Gingerbread Room
is filled with all manner of gingerbread houses. When you walk into that
room, you want to devour everything in sight. The smell is sooo
|Doesn't it make you feel like
||All of the items are not priced
for the rich. Each of these tiny art
works are under
|This looks more like a
gingerbread castle than a house.
Another glistening room offers table
settings that just scream "Merry Christmas." Some are simple and homey
and others elegant.
|This one, "A Table to Remember" evokes nostalgia
||This one is appropriately named
"The Art Dealer"
|The Hanukah display of
It includes all the holiday traditions too as there is a
interesting Hanukah display. Items for a silent auction sit temptingly
in view in one hall.There is a toy shop to delight the kids and a gift
shop to give you a helping hand with your Christmas list. Naturally
Santa has his own spot where he can visit with all the
good little girls and boys.
boutique is a great place to begin Christmas shopping
shop is a must for anyone with youngsters on their list
Santa has a place at the festival |
Each day of the festival offers different events including
cocktails, dining, a silent auction, musical and dance entertainment.
What a way to warm up for the Holidays!
For more info: