Alaska’s Kenai Fjords National Park

The Kenai Fjords National Park is located in the southern part of Alaska in the United States. Like many other national parks and protected areas of Alaska, Kenai Fjords national Park was established under the Treaty “Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Acts” in December 1980. The Document was signed by then President Jimmy Carter. The Kenai Fjords National Park has a coastline of 966 kilometers and is 2690 square kilometers in size, which makes it the smallest National Park of Alaska.

The Kenai Fjords National Park is located in the southeastern part of the Kenai Peninsula and is a part of the Pacific Mountains. Approximately 65 percent of the Harding Ice Fields are located in the Kenai Fjords National Park. In Addition it’s home to many fjords, islands and peninsulas of the Kenai coast. The Harding Ice Field is a remnant of the ice age, a leftover from the ice surface during the Pleistocene. The Harding Ice Fields is a source of a further 30 glaciers and together they cover an area of approximately 700 square miles. The nearly flat surface interrupted by isolated peaks, are called “nunataks” by the Eskimos, which translated to “solitary peak”. Numerous small glaciers are coming from the ice field, some extend to the sea and others end up in the lakes. Along the coast, many glaciers have carved deep bays in the hilly coastline any many deep fjords emerged. The heavy vegetation of the rain forests covers the heights of the cliffs and grows about 200 feet above the ocean. The coastal area has a rich marine life with seals, sea lions, sea otters and whales. A large number of birds inhabit the cliffs during the summer. Big salmon groups are in abundance here, as well as tons of different shell animals.

The park is located about 100 miles south of Anchorage and is accessible by car, train or airplane. There are several hiking trails, which start at the ranger station at Exit Glacier. The most popular trail is a half mile long trek that leads directly to the glacier. There visitors can see into the caves beneath the glacier and listen to the sound of the glacier. There is also an approximately three miles long trail over the Harding Ice Field, but spending the night in the National Park is prohibited, so this is only for the fit. Student groups have significantly improved the hiking trails over the past four years.

National Naval Aviation Museum in Florida – A Great Vacation and Travel Destination

The National Naval Aviation Museum is an adventure waiting to happen for your family! If you are near the Pensacola Naval Air Station, where the museum is located, then you will certainly want to stop by. Otherwise, you can make a plan to visit Pensacola and the National Naval Aviation Museum.

If you love aircraft then you will definitely want to make plans to visit. The museum is home to more than 150 aircraft from the Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy that have been restored. There are also flight simulators and you can increase the excitement by watching an IMAX film at the Naval Aviation Memorial Theatre. After all, of this excitement you will be ready for some food. You may have lunch or just a snack at the Cubi Bar and Café. If you want to do a little shopping afterward then you may want to check out the Flight Deck Store. There is so much to see and do in the museum that you could spend hours here. If you have a rainy day, or a super hot day, in Pensacola then head to the National Naval Aviation Museum for some excitement and aviation education!

There are many things for you to enjoy at the museum. For example, you may want to check out the “Famous Flyers” history hunt to see how much knowledge you have on the subject. Additionally, you can visit the virtual museum through the website to learn more about the exhibits, educate yourself on the aircraft, and prepare yourself for your visit! When you know more about the aircraft and history then you will be better able to enjoy the museum!

There is a website that has great information on USA Vacations and Unique Travel Spots Listed State By State and Season, the website is called: Seasonal Vacation Spots, and can be found at this url: http://www.seasonalvacationspots.com

By Robert W. Benjamin

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Historic Sites in Northern Virginia for Student Travel Tours to Washington DC

Often when student travel groups decide upon Washington D.C. as their destination, the tour leaders have specific sites in mind for a visit. Many of the sites that student travel groups request the most are just outside Washington D.C., in Northern Virginia. In order to include these historic sites in a student travel tour, advanced planning is required. Usually, I advise educational travel groups to plan one year ahead for trips to the Washington D.C. area. Depending upon the site visited, special advance procedures to clear student visitors may be required.

An educational travel company needs to be retained to plan and execute an effective itinerary for Washington D.C. If popular historic or governmental sites in Northern Virginia are requested, the itinerary will accommodate these sites on one special day, or combine them effectively with other destinations on the student tour.

Here is an overview of some of the popular Northern Virginia sites for educational travel groups:

Pentagon Tour

The Pentagon is located just across the Potomac River from Washington D.C. in Arlington, Virginia. Many student travel groups are eager to see the headquarters for high-ranking officers of the U.S. Military and their aides. Because the Pentagon was attacked on September 11th, and it houses critical military personnel, it is a sensitive site. Despite the challenges to security, the U.S. government still provides student travel tours led by a uniformed and trained member of the U.S. Military. This tour has been provided to the public since 1976, when it was first initiated in celebration of our nation’s 200th anniversary. With proper advance notification, an educational travel group may schedule a one-hour tour of the Pentagon that includes about one and one half miles of walking through Pentagon corridors and grounds and a view of the highlights.

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery is another historic site that fascinates and intrigues educational tour groups. Arlington National Cemetery was dedicated as a military cemetery on June 15th 1854. Veterans from all of the wars, both foreign and domestic, are buried here and the gravesites number around 300,000. The National Park Service administers Arlington House and its immediate grounds. The U.S. Army oversees Arlington National Cemetery and Soldier’s Home National Cemetery. Educational travel groups touring Arlington National Cemetery may have the opportunity to attend a Wreath Laying Ceremony or take a Tram tour, with advance planning.

Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens

Mount Vernon, the historic estate of George Washington lies just across the Potomac River from Washington D.C. a mere 16 miles distance from the nation’s capital. Mount Vernon is exquisitely preserved. Educational travel groups will be greeted at a brand new building, the Ford Orientation Center, and will tour The Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center which houses 25 new theaters and galleries that narrate the entire story of George Washington’s life. The Reynolds museum displays 500 original artifacts, and offers 11 videos and Immersion Theater as a way of learning about our founding father.

Student travel groups can experience living history by observing a working 18th Century farm and gristmill, as well as other educational programs. Student travel groups may tour the mansion, gardens, working farm, and more.

Educational travel to Washington D.C. is greatly enhanced by trips to Northern Virginia historical points of interest. Places like the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery, and Mount Vernon should not be ignored on a student travel tour of the Washington D.C. area. For more information on specific points of interest in the Washington D.C. area for student travel groups, visit educationaltravelconsultants.com