architecture

Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site | Travel (84/556)

Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site | Travel (84/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6) While making my way to western Pennsylvania for a family reunion, I stopped in at the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site. This was the first railroad to bypass the Allegheny Mountains.

The park visitor center has a movie, sharing the park story. Other highlights are the nature trail to Engine House 6 Exhibit Shelter and the Lemon House.

Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site | Travel (84/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)

Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site | Travel (84/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)

Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site | Travel (83/556)

Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site | Travel (83/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6) The downside of my visit to Saugus Iron Works National Historic Park was the pouring rain. The upside was having the entire park to myself. And to be honest, it was quite beautiful, peaceful and the grass was bright green from all the rain.

Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site | Travel (83/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)

This small park has a nice, easy nature trail along the Saugus River. Other points of interest include touring the Iron Works House, Industrial Site and Museum.

I'm hoping to make my way back during the fall one year. I trust the nature trail is breathtaking during the autumn months.

Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site | Travel (83/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)

Minute Man National Historical Park | Travel (81/556)

Minute Man National Historical Park | Travel (81/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6) Tucked away in Massachusetts, Minute Man National Historical Park offers peaceful wooded trails while strolling through Revolution history. Wear plenty of bug spray as ticks populate this area.

Top Five Hikes + Places to Explore
  1. Battle Road Trail - a five mile trail connecting historic sites throughout the park.
  2. Hartwell Tavern - an authentic period home from the American Revolution.
  3. North Bridge - located in Concord, this is the site of the "shot hear 'round the world."
  4. Patriots' Weekend - each year the park hosts parades, battle reenactments and ceremonies in mid-April to celebrate Patriots' Day.
  5. The Wayside - once a home to many influential authors focused on the war, abolishing slavery and preserving women's rights.

What are your favorite spots in Minute Man National Historical Park?

Roger Williams National Memorial | Travel (80/556)

Roger Williams National Memorial | Travel (80/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6) A warm spring afternoon was perfect for exploring Roger Williams National Memorial on foot.

The memorial grounds span 4.5 acres, with interpretive panels available throughout. The memorial is located in the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Hertiage Corridor, offering a few historical walks through the city.

Roger Williams National Memorial | Travel (80/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)

Lowell National Historical Park | Travel (79/556)

Lowell National Historical Park | Travel (79/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6) While visiting my sister in Massachusetts, we went for an evening stroll through Lowell National Historical Park. The city was filled with character and industrial beauty while walking along the historic waterways and mills.

Certain areas of this city welcome the buddy system, as is the case in many cities as daylight begins to fade.

Lowell National Historical Park | Travel (79/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)

Top Five Hikes + Places to Explore
  1. Heritage Hike - this one mile hike takes you along the Western Canalway.
  2. Redevelopment Rove - this one mile loop explores the historic mills and canals.
  3. Riverwalk Ramble - a 1.6 mile walk along the Merrimack, with views from above the Great River Wall.
  4. Water Boat Tours - these seasonal 90 minute boat tours provide a closer look at the canal system.
  5. Waterpower Walk - this 1.2 mile walk gives you a close look at the Lowell water system, including lock chambers, gatehouses and dams.

What are some of your favorite spots in Lowell?

Lowell National Historical Park | Travel (79/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)

Lowell National Historical Park | Travel (79/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)

Fort Monroe National Monument | Travel (75/556)

Fort Monroe National Monument | Travel (75/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6) A day before Easter arrived, I found myself exploring Fort Monroe National Monument on the Virginia Peninsula. The morning was quiet with few people out and about. Walking along the beach in solitude was my favorite part. And a perfect activity before hopping in my car for several hours, heading home.

Fort Monroe National Monument | Travel (75/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)

Top Five Hikes + Places to Explore
  1. Batteries - there are three battery structures while driving through the North Beach Area; Battery DeRussy, Battery Church and Battery Anderson-Ruggles.
  2. Chapel of Centurion - this 1858 chapel has unique architectural details and beautiful stained glass windows.
  3. North Beach Area - enjoy a walk along the Chesapeake Bay.
  4. Old Point Comfort Lighthouse - the oldest operating lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay.
  5. Parade Ground - walking around the national monument grounds of this large stone fort is quite the experience. Please do keep in mind many of the buildings are occupied by private residents.

Tell me all about your favorite spots to visit at Fort Monroe National Monument in the comments below!

Fort Monroe National Monument | Travel (75/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)

Charles Pinckney National Historic Site | Travel (72/556)

Charles Pinckney National Historic Site | Travel (72/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6) Spring is a lovely time to visit Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, in South Carolina. Green grass and trees beside bright, blooming flowers. An afternoon stroll is perfect for exploring the grounds. My visit was peaceful, quiet and beautiful.

Charles Pinckney National Historic Site | Travel (72/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)

Top Five Hikes + Places to Explore
  1. Boardwalk - One of my favorite spots in the park, this boardwalk overlooks Wampacheone Creek.
  2. Historic Road Trace - walk along the original road, once connecting Snee Farm to the public road. You will find yourself beneath beautiful cedars.
  3. Lowcountry Farmhouse - dated back to circa 1828, this visitor center is filled with information and the surrounding gardens are lovely.
  4. Nature Trail - a secluded path allows for exploring along a tidal wetland. Do keep an eye out for poison ivy.
  5. Self Guided Tour - an easy half mile walk takes you by exhibits, describing the house, history and surrounding environment.

Charles Pinckney National Historic Site | Travel (72/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)

Tell me all about your favorite areas in the park, in the comments below :)

Charles Pinckney National Historic Site | Travel (72/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)

Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site | Travel (69/556)

Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site | Travel (69/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6) When I woke up in Atlanta, Georgia the rain was pummeling down. Despite less than ideal city walking conditions, I drove to Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site. Thankfully, there were a few moments of clear skies, allowing me to briefly get out and explore on foot.

Top Five Places to Explore
  1. Birth Home - ranger-guided tours are available at his birth home. Tours are first come, first served and tend to fill up quickly.
  2. Ebenezer Baptist Church - Martin Luther King, Jr was baptized, ordained and a co-pastor at this church. This is also where his funeral was held.
  3. "I Have a Dream" World Peace Rose Garden - this was my favorite spot. The garden, roses and silence were incredibly peaceful and beautiful.
  4. The King Center - the final resting place for Martin Luther King, Jr. Exhibits depicting moments from his profound life are also in place.
  5. Visitor Center - in addition to providing information on the site, there are numerous exhibits available to learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr.

Have you made your way to Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site?

Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site | Travel (68/556)

Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site | Travel (68/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6) After many instances of being in the area and never making my way to this national park unit, I finally set aside a few hours to stop in. The Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site is located in North Carolina, outside Asheville. The home, grounds and surrounding area are lovely.

Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site | Travel (68/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)

Top Five Hikes + Places to Explore
  1. Big Glassy Mountain Trail - a 4.6 mile hike to Glassy Mountain. Deemed moderate, except for the more strenuous hike to the summit.
  2. Front Lake Loop - a scenic .4 mile hike around Front Lake. A beautiful option while making your way to the Sandburg Home and/or Goat Barn.
  3. Little Glassy Mountain Trail - a short half mile hike, taking you over the summit of Little Glassy Mountain.
  4. Memminger Trail Loop - just shy of a full mile, this hike takes you around Little Glassy Mountain.
  5. Sandburg Home Tour - the home is open for tours each day of the year, except for a few holidays. A small fee is required.

Tell me all about your favorite spots to visit in the comments below!

Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site | Travel (68/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)

Tuzigoot National Monument | Travel (67/556)

Tuzigoot National Monument | Travel (67/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6) Tuzigoot National Monument is a lovely, quick drive from Sedona, Arizona. I spent the afternoon exploring the ruins, before a bit of rain and snow fell across the area. In addition to the ruins, the surrounding landscapes and mountain views are absolutely stunning. Definitely save extra time for exploring in your hiking shoes.

Tuzigoot National Monument | Travel (67/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)

Top Five Hikes + Places to Explore
  1. 110 Room Pueblo - a 1/3 mile trail guides you through the remains of this amazing structure.
  2. Tavasci Marsh Overlook - an easy half mile trail takes you to the scenic overlook.
  3. Tavasci Marsh Trail - a one mile trail is located at the end of Flycatcher Road. This is a shared use trail.
  4. Verde River - for now, enjoy the river view while driving into the park and from the scenic views. Much of the river resides on private land.
  5. Winter Bird Walks - a great opportunity to enjoy the weather during cooler months and a variety of bird sightings.

What are some of your favorite spots in Tuzigoot National Monument?

Tuzigoot National Monument | Travel (67/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)

Wupatki National Monument | Travel (64/556)

Wupatki National Monument | Travel (64/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6) While fleeing a large snow storm in northern Arizona, I did a bit of National Monument hopping. Wupatki National Monument was stop number one. Due to preservation efforts, some hikes are guided and limited to small groups.

Wupatki National Monument | Travel (64/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)

Top Five Hikes + Places to Explore
  1. Citadel and Nalakihu Pueblos - a somewhat steep quarter mile trail takes you to both pueblos. The view from the Citadel is stunning!
  2. Crack-in-Rock Hike - this hike is through a lottery system, offered during weekends in April and October. Taking on this 16 mile, strenuous overnight hike is on my bucket list!
  3. Wukoki Pueblo - an easy half mile hike takes you to this pueblo, frequented by wildlife.
  4. Lomaki and Box Canyon Pueblos - an easy half mile hike to a pair of pueblos overlooking small canyons.
  5. Wupatki Pueblo - the largest pueblo in the park with nearly 100 rooms. The half mile trail begins behind the visitor center.

Have you been to Wupatki National Monument? Tell me all about your favorite places to explore in the comments below!

Keystone Columns | Photograph Story

Keystone Columns | Photograph Story | Alaina Ann Photography Visiting the El Presidio Historic District in Tucson, Arizona was on my long list of places to see while living in the area. As luck would have it, I found myself within walking distance after a doctor appointment one morning.

Walking along the streets and seeing the old homes and buildings was a delight. Some were nice and colorful while others were a bit more modest with a splash of color here and there.

The white keystone columns with the green goodness growing through immediately stood out. I loved the contrast in colors as well as the cracked edges. Textures always pull me in for a closer look.

My walk was brief due to a sudden rain storm, leaving me and my iPhone 4s running through puddles back to my car :)

A mini adventure, if you will. I'm looking forward to a return visit later this year.

Blue and Yellow Utility | Photograph Story

Blue and Yellow Utility | Photograph Story | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 4s) Bright colors make me happy. Especially on houses :)

The Barrio Historic District, in Tucson, was at the top of my must see list while living close by. I had signed up for a Meet Up with other photographers, only to have it canceled at the last minute due to anticipated downpours.

As the early afternoon came and went, with sporadic rain, I decided to drive into Tucson anyway. If the skies opened up, I would run back to my car. And if not, lucky me!

The weather held off and I happened to meet a new photographer friend who also decided to take a chance with the rain forecast. We walked around the colorful houses, he pointed out the one that was called home during his initial move to Tucson and I learned quite a bit about the area.

It was hard to choose a favorite home, but this blue and yellow one definitely made me smile the most. So it won :)

Bridge Bokeh | Photograph Story

Bridge Bokeh | Photograph Story | Alaina Ann Photography Spring in Washington, D.C. is beautiful. Especially if winter was a bit on the cold side!

The Potomac River and Key Bridge are quite nostalgic for me. I spent many years on the river, as a coxswain, and passed under this bridge countless times during practice and races.

My mom had not yet seen the new waterfront area along the Potomac River and I was looking for an excuse to enjoy some spring weather in the city. So we went for a stroll :)

The river was filled with boats, kayaks and a few rowing shells. Naturally, I told a story or two from my time on the water. My mom kept commenting on how nice it was to see one of my favorite spots up close.

As we reached the end of the waterfront trail, this was our view. The Key Bridge tucked between the trees and tall grass. A perfect representation of spring on the edge of the city.

George Washington Memorial Parkway | Travel (25/556)

Great Falls Park | Alaina Ann Photography Once upon a time, I drove on the George Washington Memorial Parkway daily, traveling to and from work. Although an obvious scenic road, it was years before I realized it was a national park unit, designed to connect and link sites throughout the area, commemorating important events in history.

Hiking Recommendations
  • Haul Road Trail - located in the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve, this trail follows an old mining road for 3/4 of a mile.
  • Interpretive Trail - located in Jones Point Park, this gravel trail takes you through the fresh water marsh area.
  • Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail - a national park unit of its own, this trail offers diverse routes through Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.

Glen Echo Park | Alaina Ann Photography

Resources

Glen Echo Park and Great Falls Park are my most frequented stops along the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Have you been on the parkway or visited any of the local sites? I would love to hear about your experience and tips in the comments below!