Think Outside the State

American Tale: My 50-state Adventure

Tag: Travel Blog (page 1 of 2)

Sweet Home (Anniston) Alabama

Another stop on our whirl-wind 4 state adventure was Anniston, Alabama

Though you probably haven’t heard of it (like many of my other stops), it is a small town steeped in history, brewed with culture, and has plenty of room and plans to grow.

We picked Anniston at first, because a dear friend of ours had recently moved down there (Hey Josh!)

We drove through Birmingham (which I will post about separately), and arrived at the bed and breakfast formerly known as The Victoria Inn.  (Edit: I have recently discovered that they are under new management/in the process of change.  I will post with the updated information as soon as they email me back!)



We started the day off with a HUGE breakfast selection in the main house, which was absolutely delicious.  Afterwards, we drove around the small town, discussing what we should do first.  We made a stop by the Chamber of Commerce and asked about there favorite things to do in the area.  They were very helpful, and led us to a bunch of things we wouldn’t have found otherwise!

We stopped by the Calhoun Pickers antique mall, which was INCREDIBLE, to say the least.  Mom found some real gems, and we even found a box from Hickory NC!  This is a definite “have to” when you come to Anniston.

Next, we walked around downtown, peering into shop windows and trying to figure out where to eat.  Ultimately, we went with the suggestion of the Chamber workers, and headed down to The Peerless Saloon and Grille.


The food was so amazing, I didn’t stand a chance at getting a picture before it was gone!  The atmosphere is very unique and interesting, and it has a great history.  The service was excellent, and I suggest the chicken tenders!

After having such a great lunch, we headed out to a place we had read about, and were eager to check out: The Berman Museum of World History

Here are just a few pictures of the exhibits they had, I went absolutely nuts and took probably 700 pictures, and they are all poor quality because I was so excited I couldn’t stand still long enough for the camera to focus.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

They had quite a few (incredibly impressive) artifacts, and they had a wide range of exhibits.  When we went, there was a World War/weaponry area, an American West section, an Asian history exhibit (where they let me run around in a kimono), and a rather peculiar section with torture devices and secret/easily concealed weapons.  Above are two of my favorite things: The Gatling gun and a set of Napoleon’s vanity kit.  They also had a set of Hitler’s silver tea service, but I got over excited (again) and got a great picture of the floor by accident.  For $5 a person, it would be foolish to not stop by during your visit and experience history through such an extensive collection.  But then again, history is my “thing” so I might be biased.

After spending multiple hours in the museum, we met up with our friend and had dinner….at Peerless again!  It was too good to pass up.

We also checked out the Anniston War Memorial, which we had driven by multiple times on the way to and from The Victoria. We spent quite a while here, and it was very touching, covered in the names of those who have served in the various wars/military  actions.

After long goodbyes and a last great night at the B and B, we checked out and set the GPS for home.  On the way out of town, we discovered an AMAZING treat for the road at Daylight Donuts!

We had an amazing time in Alabama, and mom has been asking me with increasing regularity when we will be coming back….so, Anniston, be on the look out for us!



Posts to come.

I know I’ve been slacking on my posts, but I’m going to put forth the effort to correct this, and keep up with my travels more currently.

Here are the trips that I’ve been on that I still need to write about:

Tupelo and Oxford Mississippi

Anniston Alabama

Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Santa Claus Indiana

Mount Vernon Illinois

St Louis and Boonville Missouri

Louisville Kentucky

I think that covers it, and here are my (hopefully) coming up trips…

Pennsylvania (This Spring)

West Virginia (This Spring/Summer)

Maryland (This Fall)

Who knows where I’ll end up, keep tuned in to see more of my 50 state adventure.


Helena, Arkansas: Downtown on the Mississippi

For the second stop on our Spring Break adventure, we headed down the river to Helena, Arkansas.  We stayed at the Best Western in West Helena, then drove into town the next morning.welcome to arkansas The very first thing Mom and I both noticed were how nice and welcoming everyone is!  Our first stop was the visitor’s center, were we met Gloria and Dawna (hey y’all!).  They gave me the low down on EVERYTHING that could be done in Helena.  One of my big planning mistakes, it seems, was coming on a Monday: ALMOST everything was closed.  No matter, we found a whole bunch of things to do, and we had a great time.

mainmain street garden blog malco The town itself is filled with history, from being a stop on the Underground Railroad, to being home to a major Civil War battle.  They are the only downtown on the Mississippi for 300 miles, and they are working hard on restoration/preservation of the beautiful historic buildings they have.  We drove downtown, and were lucky to find The Delta Gypsy!

s16delta gypsy

They have high-end, beautiful products, from many different suppliers.  We were greeted immediately, and after talking to the owners for a short time, found out that they are opening a bed and breakfast this summer in Helena Arkansas, the Allin House.  Mom and I drove by the building they are renovating for it, and I have to say, It’s going to be gorgeous!  I will definitely be revisiting Helena in the future, and giving them a call! After our little stop shop, we started to hit some of the important sites of the town.  From the Levee walk (with it’s beautiful mural of influential people) to the River Park (where you can watch tug-boats pushing their barges up and down the river), the impact that being on the Mississippi has had on this town is evident.

river park boards6 After spending time on the river, we drove to the Confederate Cemetery.  It was breathe-taking, and I know I speak for my mom and myself when I say that the unknown soldier’s graves broke our heart.  Cemeteries are a place where time stands still, and this beautiful hill on the edge of Helena really created that atmosphere.  The Confederate Memorial was at the very back of the plots, and up on a hill, separated.  The drive is beautiful, the stonework of the graves is amazing, and the history itself if thought-provoking.  Mom took a specific liking to two of the grand angels, in the lower section of the cemetery.

conf grave s48  s60 s61


We stopped by the Pillow-Thompson House (which, of course, was closed on a Monday), Battery C, and then Fort Curtis.

pillow thompsonfort curtis battery c Though this isnt a picture of the “actual” battery, my favorite thing about this site was the view of the town, and the Mississippi River.  Of course, mom and I took a TON of pictures up here.  It was a major site of a very important battle in the Civil War, and the victory won Eastern Arkansas for the Union.  There are a lot of different information podiums and replications on the battery itself. After visiting these sites, our last stop was to talk with the Dana Chadwich, who owns and runs the Edwardian Inn, a gorgeous bed and breakfast that has been in Helena for many years.  The house was built in 1904 by a successful business man, and has been a private family home, an apartment building, an alcoholic rehabilitation center, among other things.  It has been wonderfully preserved, and walking the halls seems to take you back in time. edwardian Helena is a small, history-rich town, filled with wonderful people and wonderful sites.  It may not be your first destination idea for Arkansas, but you wont be disappointed if you choose to visit!  This stop was Mom’s favorite, and it has definitely made it high on my list. Up next is Oxford, MS, coming to you soon!

Older posts