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See America

A podcast about great destinations. Join us on one epic road trip across America.

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The Shreveport Water Works

One of the best things about a road trip is uncovering new experiences that weren't even on your radar. As we travel the country, it's very hard for my wife and me to pass up a historical marker. Often something small happened in that location, but other times it's a grain elevator museum or an old train depot. Fantastic reminders of the development of modern conveniences.  One such place caught our eye in the city of Shreveport, Louisiana. Shreveport isn't what many would call a tourist town, but we were swept away by its charm, it's food and its history. On today's episode, the Shreveport Water Works Museum.

11mins

26 Oct 2019

Rank #1

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The Hollywood Sign

Before Hollywood became the film and television capital of the world, it didn't look much different than other western frontiers. The area surrounding Los Angeles was full of farmers, cowboys, and prospectors, all wanting their piece of acres of undeveloped land. As the word got out about the sunny skies, mild temps, and dry weather, Americans began to flock to California. In 1887, a Mrs. Wilcox, wife of Harvey Wilcox, met a woman on a train trip who referred to her Florida summer home, "Hollywood." She was so struck by the name that she suggested it to her husband, who would come to found a small, Southern California town that would become synonymous with the American dream. This week's episode, The Hollywood Sign.

22mins

2 Nov 2019

Rank #2

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The Stanley Hotel

Colorado's Estes Valley was once a wild, lonely parkland known only to the nomadic tribes of Ute and Arapaho. When the Earl of Dunraven visited in 1872, he coveted this a "sportsman's paradise" of rushing streams and peaceful meadows teeming with fish and game. He sought to keep the valley to himself as a private hunting preserve, but as more and more American settlers were drawn by its natural beauty, he realized that his dream could never be a reality. Yankee inventor Freelan Oscar Stanley arrived in the valley, weak and underweight from the symptoms of consumption. To his amazement, just one season was enough to restore his health to better than before. Overjoyed, he vowed to return each summer for the rest of his life. But he and his wife Flora were used to the sophistication of East Coast society, and the little community of Estes Park offered little to stimulate and challenge this multi-talented genius. Together, they resolved to build a beautiful grand hotel, one that many years later would play host to a young Stephen King, inspiring one of his most famous and chilling tales.

12mins

19 Oct 2019

Rank #3

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Cadillac Ranch

Main Street of America. The Mother Road. Is there anything more American than cruising from Chicago to LA on Route 66 in a classic convertible blasting Springsteen's "Cadillac Ranch." Route 66 today has changed, it's less about the drive than the stops along the way. Many are boarded up or have been swallowed by the dust and tumbleweed of the Southwest, but those that survive remind us of where we've been and where we're going. This week, one of the most iconic stops on the Mother Road, Cadillac Ranch.

12mins

5 Oct 2019

Rank #4

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The City Museum

In the heart of America sits one of the wildest museums in the world. Housed in a 10-story former shoe factory, this sprawling 600,000 square-foot urban playground stirs the imaginations of children and adults alike. This week, The eclectic and entertainingly unique City Museum.

14mins

11 Jan 2020

Rank #5

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The Space Needle

Rising high above the Seattle skyline is one of the most iconic structures in the world. It was built in just 400 days, held together 74,000 bolts. Today, it stands as a symbol of the Pacific Northwest, reminding us of plans of the past and dreams of the future. This week, Seattle's Space Needle.

13mins

12 Oct 2019

Rank #6

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Biltmore

The U.S. isn't really known for its vast estates, but a few were built by some of the most prominent families of the industrial revolution. One of those families seemed to be on a quest to outdo each other, building some of America's most famous homes, culminating in the country's largest, in Ashville, North Carolina. This week on See America, the Biltmore Estate.

19mins

28 Dec 2019

Rank #7

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The Hoover Dam, and Its Mascot

In the desert of the southwest sits a looming, concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between Nevada and Arizona. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression and was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was a massive effort involving thousands of workers, many who lost their lives. Originally known as Boulder Dam, today it provides power for public and private utilities in Nevada, Arizona, and California, and is a major tourist attraction; nearly a million people tour the dam each year. This week, the Hoover Dam.

23mins

26 Jan 2020

Rank #8

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Bellingrath Gardens & Home

Mobile, Alabama doesn't get the street cred of other historic southern tourism towns like Savannah, New Orleans, and Charleston. Perhaps it's the massive shipping industry that lends an industrial vibe to some, but consider that Mobile is steeped in history. It was founded in 1702 by the French as the first capital of Louisiana. It's host to a massive concentration of historic architecture. And even though New Orleans somehow became the Mardi Gras capital of the world, Mobile invented the Mardis Gras parade and has been running an organized Carnival longer than anyone else in the US. Its French Catholic colonial settlers celebrated this festival from the first decade of the 18th century. You could easily spend a week soaking in the Mobile area. We did that earlier this year, and on the outskirts of town, we found one attraction that rose above all the rest. 65 acres of year-round floral pageantry in a Southern estate garden like no other: The Bellingrath Gardens & Home.

18mins

9 Nov 2019

Rank #9

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The International UFO Museum & Research Center

In July 1947, something happened in Eastern New Mexica during a severe thunderstorm. Was it a flying saucer? Was it a weather balloon? What happened? Whatever it was, it sparked an alien fever that continues to this day. This week, Roswell, New Mexico, and the International UFO Museum and Research Center.

15mins

15 Nov 2019

Rank #10

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Charters of Freedom

There's one room on this earth that I have walked into that left me more humbled than any other. More proud and inspired. More happy and afraid and joyful. In one, oval-shaped room, the full weight of our nation and the American experience takes hold of you and doesn't let go. No. Not that oval room. This week, the hallowed Rotunda at the National Archives in Washington D.C.

28mins

9 Feb 2020

Rank #11

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Chicago Sculpture

Chicago, Illinois. The Windy City. The City of Big Shoulders. The City in a Garden. The City That Works. This week, three sculptures that define three different stages of Chicago, and indeed America.

18mins

2 Feb 2020

Rank #12

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River Cities Speedway

On the western banks of the Red River of the North is a flat region known as the Red River Valley, and a town that owes its existence to a flatboat race down the Red River in the late fall of 1870, in which the steamboat of Alexander Griggs came up short to the Winship's crew. The result was that Griggs spent the 1871 winter here, and founded the city of Grand Forks. This town was born with racing in its blood. It's a tradition that continues to this very day, but in a much more modern way. This week, on the season one finale of the See America Podcast, something as American as the clichéd apple pie — dirt track races at the River Cities Speedway.

12mins

23 Nov 2019

Rank #13

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Red Rocks

In the western suburbs of Denver colorado, lies a unique music venue that many consider the finest in the world. With Mother Nature as the architect, this acoustically perfect amphitheater has hosted some of the greatest performers in the world for over a century and is the location of some of the most famous live albums ever recorded. This week, Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheater.

12mins

15 Feb 2020

Rank #14

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The Wave Organ

Along the eastern edge of San Francisco’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area sits a jetty, constructed from an assortment of granite and marbel pieces taken from the demolition of the Laurel Hill Cemetery. Upon it, an art installation like no other. This week, the wave-activated acoustic sculpture known as The Wave Organ, one of many pieces created on-site at San Francisco’s Exploratorium.

12mins

18 Jan 2020

Rank #15

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The American Tobacco Campus and Burt's Bees

Durham, North Carolina. Home to possibly the most famous Minor League team in all of sports - the Durham Bulls. Durham has witnessed a massive revitalization in recent years, as it turned the scars of an industry in free-fall into new life and prosperity. This week, the American Tobacco Campus.

13mins

23 Feb 2020

Rank #16

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Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle

Hollywood,1928. One of the biggest movie stars of the silent era sets out to build herself a gorgeous dream home, sparing no expense and employing a talented legion of industry colleagues to design and build it. But this house wasn't destined for the Hollywood Hills, nor would any human ever live in it. This was the original tiny house, long before tiny houses were cool. This week, Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle, which now resides in the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Illinois.

12mins

4 Jan 2020

Rank #17

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The Market Theater Gum Wall

Overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle, Washington sits one of the oldest continuously operating farmers' markets in the united states - the 112-year-old Pike Place Market, where small farmers, craftspeople and merchants hawk their wares. Pike Place boasts more than 10 million visitors annually. It's the 33rd most visited tourist attraction in the world, and for good reason. Here, you'll find fishmongers at the Pike Place Fish Market, the first Starbucks, a bronze cast piggy bank named Rachel that weighs 550 pounds, buskers of all sorts, and at the Market Theater, Seattle's longest-running improv, Unexpected Productions. It's here, on the walls outside the theater, where you'll find one of the weirder attractions in the world. Welcome to season two of the See America Podcast. This week: the famed Market Theater Gum Wall.

10mins

21 Dec 2019

Rank #18

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Eyes on the Sky in Platte River, Nebraska

In the heart of the rolling Great Plains, thousands of one of the largest flying birds on earth rest and feed in the light of the setting sun. They jump into the air, flap their wings, and dance after filling their bellies with corn and insects. Their calls echo across the river plains like bones rattling in the wind. Incredible as this scene is, it's just one stop along an awe-inspiring journey. This week, the great sandhill crane migration and Nebraska's Sandhill Crane Festival.

12mins

21 Mar 2020

Rank #19

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Hjemkomst

In the summer of 1971, a Minnesota Junior High School guidance counselor took a severe fall from a friend's roof. While recovering from his injuries, he set out to build a dream. A replica of a ship from his ancestral Viking heritage. One that would sail him all the way to Norway. This week, the Hjemkomst, the Viking ship that inspired a community.

16mins

3 May 2020

Rank #20