Magazine article American Heritage

Exploring America: Finding Promise in the Past: The Land Speaks in Whispers, Offering the Attentive Traveler Its Stories of Ancient Inhabitants, Hardy Pioneers and Bold Adventurers. the Land Tells Its Tales in Exuberant Festivals, Lively Dances and Solemn Rituals. in Every Part of the Nation, the Land Beckons: Come, Discover the Truth Behind the Fable, and Find Promise in the Past

Magazine article American Heritage

Exploring America: Finding Promise in the Past: The Land Speaks in Whispers, Offering the Attentive Traveler Its Stories of Ancient Inhabitants, Hardy Pioneers and Bold Adventurers. the Land Tells Its Tales in Exuberant Festivals, Lively Dances and Solemn Rituals. in Every Part of the Nation, the Land Beckons: Come, Discover the Truth Behind the Fable, and Find Promise in the Past

Article excerpt

Oklahoma

Native American legends, frontier lore, outlaw tales and geographic diversity engage the imagination in Oklahoma. Within the Sooner State's six regions are ancient granite mountains, 75-foot sand dunes, pristine forests, plains and prairies, boiling springs, shimmering blue lakes, scenic rivers and the world's largest alabaster caverns.

Red Carpet Country in the northwest has the Cherokee Strip Stampede Rodeo, the Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum and the towering dunes of Little Sahara State Park. Black Mesa, the state's highest point, offers stargazers spectacular night views. Buffalo and prairie dog sightings are a part of the Great Plains Country experience. The Village Within, along the Cheyenne Heritage Trail, houses Native American arts and crafts and contemporary art. A high-tech recreation of a thundering Old West cattle drive thrills the senses at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, and Waurika hosts an annual Cowboy Celebration and Western Writers Winter Roundup. More cowboy stories and Western art can be found at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City in the heart of Frontier Country.

Great discoveries in Kiamichi Country include the Talimena Scenic Byway, the Museum of the Red River and the Krebs Heritage Museum. Green Country's urban center, Tulsa, has two outstanding museums of art--the Philbrook and the Gilcrease. The state honors its favorite son at the Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore. Lake and Trail Country in south central Oklahoma is an aquatic paradise, complete with effervescent springs at Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulphur. Native American tribal museums, historic homes and powwows can be found regionwide.

Missouri

Missouri is a rich land of trails and tales. Many of the nation's overland trails either passed through Missouri or originated here. Missouri's sons and daughters have blazed their own paths with bravery, creativity and sometimes--notoriety.

Trail of Tears State Park in Jackson serves as a memorial to southeastern Indian tribes forced from their homes to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. Sites throughout Missouri commemorate the 900-mile Santa Fe Trail, a land route for international trade for nearly 60 years. The National Frontier Trails Center in Independence explores the history of the Santa Fe, Oregon and California trails. Beneath the architectural wonder of the St. Louis Gateway Arch, the Museum of Westward Expansion depicts the 19th-century overland migration.

The Omar Bradley Museum and Birthplace in Clark displays memorabilia from the life and military career of the five-star general born there in 1893. Hannibal's National Tom Sawyer Days, attractions and landmarks celebrate the life of Mark Twain. In Mansfield, the adulthood home of beloved "Little House" author Laura Ingalls Wilder is open for tours, next to the Laura Ingalls Wilder-Rose Wilder Lane Museum. Marceline, the boyhood home of Walt Disney, was the model for Main Street, U.S.A. The Walt Disney Hometown Museum is located in the former Santa Fe Depot. The best-known site associated with Jesse James, Missouri's most infamous citizen, is the St. Joseph home (now the Patee House Museum) where the outlaw was shot and killed in 1882.

West Virginia

The Mountain State's geography intertwines with its history, making every visit an enriching experience. West Virginia celebrates the 250th anniversary of its oldest county this year. …

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