Maine Bucket List ~ The Maine Beaches

Starting a new state in the Bucket List series today. Maine is split into 8 distinct travel regions, but two are smaller lists, so the bucket list series for Maine will be shared in seven installments. Today we head into a region filled with one of our favorite things: lighthouses!


  • Wood Island Lighthouse: Reached only by boat, but visible from a walking trail.


  • Goat Island Lighthouse: Reached only by boat or visible by small park.


  • Whaleback Light: Visible from shore in several places.


  • Marginal Way: Beautiful coastaline walk.

South Berwick

  • Hamilton House: Georgian style mansion built in the late 1700’s by a rich shipping merchant.


  • Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge: Enjoy time among the salt water marshes.


  • Boon Island Light: Accessed only by boat.
  • Cape Neddick Light: Another lighthouse accessed only by boat.
  • Mount Agamenticus: Access the views from this peak by driving to the top in this park.

All attractions found in the 2021 Maine Travel Planner

National WWI Museum and Memorial ~ Kansas City, Missouri

Our second full day in Kansas City brought us to a museum we had visited once before, The National WWI Museum and Memorial. This museum is a stunning site to see even if you just go to the park for some photos of the Memorial itself. Its Liberty Tower reaches high to the sky! The tower is usually open for tours to the top, but due to pandemic restrictions that was a no go this time around.

We bought our tickets in advance to avoid time in any lines. They had the outer doors labeled so that if you already had tickets, you would go in one door, whereas those who didn’t would enter a different door. You do not need your tickets immediately as you are directed to the right to a small auditorium space where you are encouraged to watch an introductory film. This film details how Europe and its various empires were growing and changing leading up to the “shot heard round the world.” They had benches spaced within proper social distancing guidelines so that each party could have their necessary space as we watched.

Following this you cross over a field of poppies to access the main galleries. Most people don’t always think to look down at the poppies, so be sure you do when you visit!

From there you are guided to your right to access the first gallery. This gallery focuses on the start of the war to right before America got involved. You learn about the two trios of power that worked to fight against each other and how weapons and warfare had changed since many of these countries and empires had previously fought. One volunteer was especially helpful in giving us a detailed account of how their uniforms changed over time: from the bright and colorful, to the dark, hidden colors to keep you safe in trench warfare.

This particular gallery has a unique set up where you can view “into” a trench in various locations to see what soldiers would have experienced. They have a running soundtrack of yells and guns and bombs going off to make it especially realistic.

Towards the end of this gallery they also had a section that featured both the improvements in flight and submarine/naval advancements that led to a very different type of war. This included several diagrams of just how many battles and forces were found in the air and on the sea, and also showcased a few artifacts related to those submarines.

From there you proceed forward to an overlook of a trench with several benches to sit on. This is where you will watch a second film; one that details how America came to be involved in the war. This film is a bit longer but it not to be missed as it really helps to introduce the progression of the war and incorporates the trench overlook into it.

From there you proceed into the second and final gallery. This one of course focuses more heavily on American involvement both at home and on the ground across the sea. It also has a special feature of a tank, how it would look to be “inside” the tank, and what a crater that was created by a tank would look like. This gallery of course leads up to the end of the war and the peace agreement that came with it.

The museum also features a small gift shop and has a café available as well. Currently the café only offered to-go options due to current pandemic restrictions, but when we had previously visited they had a nice area to sit and enjoy your meal.

Admission is $18 per adult. Children and senior prices are a bit lower, but the admission price is well worth it for all the information they have in these galleries. The volunteer staff is also always willing to share their insights further into exhibits which really enhances your time there as well.

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Vermont Bucket List ~ Southern Region

Last segment in the Vermont Bucket List series before we move on to Maine! This is a shorter list as we get down to the “narrower” part of the state.


  • Bennington Battle Monument State Historic Site: Stone obelisk marks site of a Revolutionary War battle.
  • Woodford State Park: Highest elevated campground in the state located in the Green Mountains.


  • Fort Dummer State Park: Site of first permanent European settlement in Vermont.


  • Jamaica State Park: Hike along the shores of the West River.
  • Pike Falls: Secluded waterfall and swimming area.


  • Museum of American Fly Fishing: Museum dedicated to the sport of fly fishing and its history.
  • Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home: Summer home of Robert Todd Lincoln.
  • Museum of the Creative Process: Museum dedicated to artwork and its use in solving conflict.


  • Robert Frost Stone House Museum: Family home of famed poet, Robert Frost.


  • Townshend State Park: Park located at the base of Bald Mountain in a wooded area.


  • Molly Stark State Park: Park named for the famous wife of a Revolutionary War general.

All attractions found in the Vermont 2020 Summer/Fall Vacation Guide.

Jack Stack Barbeque ~ Kansas City, Missouri

This past week, Sites and Bites Journal finally got back on the road again! We spent 4 days/5 nights in Kansas City, Missouri and loved being out exploring again, even if some pandemic precautions are still in place! We rented a lovely Airbnb (more on that in a future post), enjoyed good food, did some shopping, and also hit up a few local attractions that were back open to the public! We often ate our lunches in restaurants or in the car, but always got our dinners to go and brought them back to our Airbnb to help keep our contact with people to a minimum.

Our first day we did a lot of shopping at big stores like REI and Ikea that we just don’t have around here! We also did a lot of walking around our neighborhood and decided to even walk to grab out dinner that first full day at Jack Stack Barbeque. Luckily, our Airbnb was just a mile from the Country Club Plaza, which had many shops and restaurants, including Jack Stack. We placed our order online and then made the trek down the street to pick it up at the appropriate time.

Jack Stack has this fun bull sculpture right outside the restaurant and I couldn’t resist getting a phot while we waited the final few minutes for our order to be ready! Luckily they had a separate door for all the carry out orders, so it was quick and easy to grab out food and be on our way back “home” to eat.

For this particular meal, we both ordered the 2 meat plates with brisket and pulled pork. I got mine with a side of fries, which you can see from the photo, there were plenty of! Andrew got his with a side of cheesy potatoes which were also delicious. We both decided that the brisket was better than the pulled pork from Jack Stack, but both meats were super tasty. I ate about half that night, had a tiny portion as a late night snack later, and still had a decent sized portion for leftovers another night! We also both tried different sauces, with Andrew opting for the original, and I opted for the spicy. The spicy had a lot of kick to it, so I don’t even want to imagine what their hot version is like!

Jack Stack is definitely a more refined, “fancier”, BBQ experience than some other BBQ joints we’ve visited in the past, but is well worth the time and money to try! We highly recommend, but both agree that of the two BBQ places we visited, this was our second favorite. The best is yet to come in a future post!

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Vermont Bucket List ~ Central Region

Heading to the middle of Vermont today. This will be the final bucket list post for a bit as we take a trip of our own next week to Kansas City and will have things to report on when we return!


  • Chminey Point State-Owned Historic Site: Historic site located along a peninsula that juts into Lake Champlain.


  • Bartlett Falls: Small block waterfall with a swimming hole.


  • Cabot Creamery Visitors Center: Come taste this famous Vermont cheddar cheese.


  • Camel’s Hump State Park: Enjoy several hiking trails around this mountain.


  • Button Bay State Park: Park located on the shores of Lake Champlain.


  • Moss Glen Falls: Beautiful waterfall just off the road.


  • Kettle Pond State Park: Camp in this wooded area with trails near the pond.


  • Hubbardton Battlefield State Historic Site: Site of the only Revolutionary War battle fought entirely on Vermont soil.


  • Gifford Woods State Park: Hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail in this park.


  • Vermont Statehouse: Tour the seat of Vermont’s government.


  • Montshire Museum of Science: Hands on science museum with over 100 exhibits.


  • Mount Independence State Historic Site: Played a major role in the Revolutionary War.


  • New England Maple Museum: Explore the world of maple syrup.


  • Coolidge State Park: Enjoy sweeping mountain valley views from this park.
  • President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site: Visit the childhood home of President Calvin Coolidge.


  • Vermont Marble Museum: Explore the history of this marble stone factory.


  • Quechee State Park: Beautiful park that looks over a gorge area.
  • VINS Nature Center: Take in their fun forest canopy walk.

South Royalton

  • Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial Historic Site: Birthplace of the founder of the Mormon faith.


  • Lake Champlain Maritime Museum: Learn the history of Lake Champlain.


  • Madsonian Museum of Industrial Design: Explores how the industrial worlds as evolved over time.


  • Warren Falls: Short path leads to step falls.


  • Ben and Jerry’s Factory: Explore the history of this famous ice cream brand.


  • Wilgus State Park: Hike the Pinnacle Trail along the Connecticut River.


  • American Precision Museum: Birthplace of the precision tool industry.
  • Mount Ascutney State Park: One of Vermont’s first state parks, this park offers sweeping mountain views.
  • Old Constitution House State Historic Site: Birthplace of the Republic of Vermont and the state constitution.


  • Blake Falls: Gorgeous waterfall off of a reservoir.

All attractions found in the 2020 Vermont Summer/Fall Vacation Guide.

Vermont Bucket List ~ Northern Region

Today we begin exploring Vermont! Vermont has just three regions as it is a smaller state, but is filled with many state parks and waterfalls!


  • Lake Champlain Ferries: Take this unique and fun way across Lake Champlain when crossing over from New York!


  • Mount Philo State Park: Take in views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks.


  • Niquette Bay State Park: Explore several walking trails on the shores of Lake Champlain.


  • Elmore State Park: Hike wooded trails along the lake or Mount Elmore.


  • Chester A. Arthur State Historic Site: Birthplace of the 21st President.


  • Cheever Falls: Two step falls near Walden.


  • Birds of Vermont Museum: Learn about native birds to the state and enjoy some wood carvings of birds as well.


  • New Discovery State Park: One of several state parks located in Groton State Forest. It provides access to lots of forest trails.


  • Vermont Teddy Bear Company: Tour the company that produces one of the largest numbers of teddy bears.


  • Bingham Falls: Hike a short 0.5 mile path to get to this little waterfall.
  • Moss Glen Falls: Hike this nearly three mile path to access views of the falls.
  • Smuggler’s Notch State Park: Take in the mountainous views at this park.


  • Big Falls: Another picturesque waterfall to enjoy.


  • Underhill State Park: Hike along the western slopes of Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s Highest Point.

All attractions found in Vermont’s Summer/Fall Vacation Guide 2020

New York Bucket List ~ Adirondacks Region

Final region of New York! Headed into the Adirondacks before we explore Vermont over the next few days!


  • High Falls Park: Park features a 4-tiered waterfall.


  • International Maple Museum Centre: Explore the history and evolution of the maple syrup industry.

Crown Point

  • Champlain Memorial Lighthouse: This lighthouse memorial sits on the shores of Lake Champlain.
  • Crown Point State Historic Site: Old military stronghold on the shores of Lake Champlain.

Glens Falls

  • Cooper’s Cave Overlook: This cave was make famous in The Last of the Mohicans.

Lake George

  • Fort William Henry Museum: Details the history of the fort that played a role in the French and Indian War.
  • Lake George Battlefield Park: Battles in both the French and Indian War and Revolutionary War were fought on this site.

Lake Placid

  • John Brown Farm State Historic Site: Home and final resting place of abolitionist John Brown.
  • Mount Marcy: View (or summit if you are an avid hiker!) the highest point in New York.
  • Olympic Center and Museum: Commemorates both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Games.


  • Whetstone Gulf State Park: Hike along this gorge area.

Lyons Falls

  • Agers Falls: Small set of falls at a little park.


  • Almanzo Wilder Farm: Boyhood home of Almanzo Wilder.


  • Battle of Plattsburgh War of 1812 Museum: Museum explores the causes and effects of the War of 1812.
  • Bluff Point Lighthouse on Valcour Island: Unique lighthouse on an island in Lake Champlain.


  • Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park: Great place to hike and explore caves and waterfalls.


  • Fort Ticonderoga: Fort built by the French along Lake Champlain.


  • High Falls Gorge: Explore several hiking trails and waterfalls at this nature park.

All attractions found at

New York Bucket List~1000 Islands Seaway Region

Moving further north in New York state today. We now get to explore the region of 1000 Islands.

Alexandria Bay

  • Boldt Castle: Huge castle mansion built in the 1900s that can be toured today.


  • Fort Brewerton/Blockhouse Museum: This French and Indian War fort was originally built in the shape of an eight point star.

Cape Vincent

  • Tibbetts Point Lighthouse: Located where the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario meet.


  • Cedar Point State Park: One of New York’s oldest state parks, this is a great place to enjoy the water along the St. Lawrence River.


  • Wellesley Island State Park: Rustic camping area along the St. Lawrence River.

Fishers Landing

  • Rock Island Lighthouse State Park: Take a tour of this island and its picturesque lighthouse.


  • Southwick Beach State Park: Great place to swim on the shore of Lake Ontario.


  • Robert Moses State Park: Explore trails through woods and marsh at this park located near the international border.


  • Spy Island, Mexico Point Park: Learn how this park area played a pivotal role in the American Revolution.


  • Salmon River Falls Unique Area: Area of steep gorge cliffs that features a waterfall.


  • Fort Ontario State Historic Site: This old fort played a role in both the French and Indian War as well as the War of 1812.


  • 1838 Selkirk Lighthouse: Located at the mouth of the Salmon River where it meets Lake Ontario.
  • Sandy Island Beach State Park: Enjoy this stretch of Beach along Lake Ontario.
  • Selkirk Shores State Park: Enjoy this bluff area along the shores of Lake Ontario.


  • Kring Point State Park: This park is on a narrow peninsula and a visitor can see water standing at any given point in the park.

Sackets Harbor

  • Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site: Preserves the site of two major battles in the War of 1812.

All attractions found at

New York Bucket List ~ Finger Lakes Region

Back at the blog for one more full week of Bucket List entries before we head out on an adventure next week! That means the following week I will finally have some “real life” adventures to share once more! But for this week we will round out New York and get a start on Vermont. Three days of New York left!


  • Pinnacle State Park: Take in some stunning views from this high up park.


  • Harriet Tubman National Historical Park: Visit the house of this famed Underground Railroad conductor.


  • Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansions State Historic Park: Visit the grounds of this sprawling Victorian estate.


  • Waverly Glen Park: Small city park that features a waterfall.


  • American Red Cross, Clara Barton House Chapter #1: This house details the history of the Red Cross and the life of Clara Barton.


  • Mark Twain Study and Exhibit: Visit the small cottage where they idea of Huck Finn was born.
  • Newtown Battlefield State Park: Site of American Revolution battle.

Fair Haven

  • Fair Haven Beach State Park: Park that sits on the shores of Lake Ontario.


  • Buttermilk Falls State Park: Park names for the waterfall located in the park.
  • Cascadilla Creek Gorge: Enjoy several waterfalls along this creek.
  • Ithaca Falls on Fall Creek: One of several falls along the creek, this one is near the downtown area.
  • Robert H. Treman State Park: Features a gorge with several waterfalls.


  • Clark Reservation State Park: Park features a lake formed from a glacial waterfall.

Montour Falls

  • Havana Glen Park and Gorge: Small park that has a short trail leading to a waterfall.


  • Fillmore Glen State Park: Wooded park that features a gorge and waterfall.


  • Ontario County Park at Gannett Hill: Take in the views from one of the highest spots in the county.


  • Pratts Falls County Park: Scenic trails lead to a 137 ft waterfall.


  • Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse Historical Society and Museum: Lighthouse that sits above Lake Ontario.
  • High Falls: One of three sets of waterfalls along the Genesee River.
  • National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House: Home of Susan B. Anthony for 40 years while she was fighting for women’s rights.

Seneca Falls

  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton House: Home of Suffragist, Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
  • National Women’s Hall of Fame: Dedicated to the women who have changed the world.
  • Women’s Rights National Historical Park: Preserves the site of the first Women’s Rights Convention.

Sodus Point

  • Sodus Bay Lighthouse Museum: Picturesque lighthouse located on the shores of Lake Ontario.


  • Erie Canal Museum: Dives into the history of the Erie Canal.
  • Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology: Hands on science museum for all ages.


  • Taughannock Falls State Park: Park features a stunning 215 ft waterfall.


  • National Memorial Day Museum: Visit the house where the idea of Memorial Day was born.

Watkins Glen

  • Watkins Glen State Park: Beautiful hiking area to explore the rock formations and waterfall.


  • Chimney Bluffs State Park: These dramatic bluffs can be explored high above Lake Ontario.

All attractions found at

New York Bucket List ~ Greater Niagara Region

Moving on to a region I can’t wait to visit someday! Niagara Falls has been on my Bucket List since I was young.


  • Akron Falls Park: Beautiful park that features a 40 ft waterfall.


  • Golden Hill State Park: Sits on the shores of Lake Ontario and features a lighthouse.
  • Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse: Lighthouse within Golden Hill State Park.


  • Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens: Expansive gardens to enjoy in the Buffalo area.
  • Buffalo and Erie Country Naval and Military Park: Expansive museum where guests can tour 3 naval ships.
  • Buffalo Harbor State Park: Take in stunning views of Lake Erie.
  • Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site: This is where Teddy Roosevelt took the oath of office following McKinley’s assassination.


  • Letchworth State Park: Known as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” this gorge features several waterfalls.


  • Frank Lloyd Wright’s Graycliff: Lakeside summer estate designed by the great architect.

East Aurora

  • Millard Fillmore House: Home of the 13th President of the United States.


  • Original Kazoo Company, Factory, Museum and Gift Shop: Take a tour of the factory that designed the first ever metal kazoos.

Grand Island

  • Buckhorn Island State Park: Park preserves meadows, woods, and marsh land.


  • Oak Orchard Lighthouse: Learn the history of this lighthouse located on the point extending into Lake Ontario.

Le Roy

  • Jell-o Gallery Museum: Museum dedicated to the history of that jiggly dessert.


  • Erie Canal Discovery Center: Three levels of exhibits about the history and life along the Erie Canal.
  • Lockport Cave and Underground Boat Ride: Take this boat tour through the Erie canal and its caves and tunnels.
  • Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Cruises: Take a ride along the Erie Canal.

Niagara Falls

  • Devil’s Hole State Park: Overlooks the Devil’s Hole Rapids.
  • Niagara Falls Observation Tower: Allows you to view both Niagara Falls and Horseshoe Falls from the same spot.
  • Niagara Falls State Park: Take in views of Niagara Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls at the oldest state park in the nation.
  • Whirlpool State Park: Overlooks the Niagara Whirlpool located in Niagara Gorge.


  • Wilson Tuscarora State Park: Park has trails to explore and is located on the south shore of Lake Ontario.


  • Fort Niagara State Park: Park is oldest continuously operated military site on the continent. Old Fort Niagara is open for tours within the park.

All attractions found at