Some Recommended Diversions

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Since launching Diversions, we've asked viewers to share some of their favorite destinations with us here at CBS News Sunday Morning. We hope to select some of our future Diversions from among the suggestions.

Meanwhile, we want to share some of those good ideas with you. The following are viewer recommendations we've received via email. (Some of the emails have been edited.)

To share your own diversion, click here.

Frontier Culture Museum
Staunton, Virginia
Our family highly recommends the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, Virginia as a Sunday - or any other day - Diversion. The perspective is different from any other "living history" museum we've seen, concentrating not as much on how early settlers coped with life in the New World but on where they came from in the Old World, why they left it, and how they synthesized their different lifestyles. Each authentically reconstructed enclave is beautifully and entertainingly presented by a knowledgeable and personable staff, and the experience is augmented by the museum's family-friendly hospitality.

We expect to return often to observe the change of seasons in this special place.


Old Tucson Studios
And Desert Museum
Tucson, Arizona
I have a fun and interesting pair of Diversions for your viewers.

The Old Tucson Studios and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum both are located in Tucson Mountain Park in Tucson, Arizona.

Old Tucson is where John Wayne filmed so many of his movies and where the series High Chapparal was filmed. The children think it is meant for them, but it is really just for us big kids.

The Desert Museum, a combination zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden, holds many species of unusual and rare desert flora and fauna.

Marana, Arizona

Riverside Church
New York
I suggest a visit to the weekly carillon concerts at New York City's Riverside Church, which is modeled after the 13th century Gothic Cathedral of Chartres.

In the church's 20-floor tower is the 74-bell carillon, which contains the Bourdon bell, the world's largest turned bell. Visitors take an elevator to the top floor, then climb a winding stairway through a maze of bells, some of them weighing several tons. The concerts are held twice every Sunday, at noon and 3 PM, and last for 20 to 30 minutes. During the concerts, a visitor can climb a few steps to a small door and step out ono a circular walkway that offers a view of the Hudson River, Harlem, and the Columbia University campus.

The sound of these magnificent bells at close range is an unforgettable musical experience.


Small-Town Favorites
Here's a varied list of favorites from a viewer who tells us, "My goal is to someday be able to retrace the travels of Charles Kuralt in an RV. Some people want fame or fortune, I want to see every small town and drive every country back road I can because, as Charles Kuralt put it so simply and eloquently, 'I see the road is bending up ahead...I wonder what's around the bend.'"

The Wilmot Stage Stop
Wilmot, Wisconsin

Located on the western end of Kenosha County in southeastern Wisconsin, this is the oldest stagecoach stop in the state of Wisconsin. It's on the banks of the Fox River, which runs to another wonderful place, Green Bay, Wisconsin. We all know what is king in Green Bay.

Deadwood, South Dakota
Here in Deadwood are cobblestone streets and the infamous Boot Hill, in the town where Wild Bill Hickok was gunned down in Jack McCall's saloon holding the legendary "dead man's hand" of aces and eights.

Hardin, Montana
Hardin is home of the Little Bighorn Battlefield, where the Northern Plains Indians led by Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse and Gall defeated George Armstrong Custer’s Seventh Cavalry troopers in the battle known as Custer's Last Stand.

International Peace Gardens, Bottineau, North Dakota
Bottineau's tribute to the peaceful friendship between the U.S. and Canada.

Circus World Museum and Circus, Baraboo, Wisconsin
Circus World is the winter home of the old Ringling Brothers circus. The daily swim by the elephants in the Baraboo River is a sight to behold!

The Grotto of Lourdes
Emmitsburg, Maryland

At Mount Saint Mary's College the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes is a replica of the Grotto of Lourdes in France and the oldest such shrine in America.

R.M. Jr.

Charles Coolidge Park
Chattanooga, Tennessee

Forty years ago, a bit of ground was set aside on the Tennessee River as a tribute to Charles Coolidge, World War II hero from Signal Mountain and recipient of the Medal of Honor. The ground was used for other things, and the plan was forgotten. Finally in July 1999, gem of a park, Charles Coolidge Park, was opened. It's only seven acres, but what a park!

The crowning jewel is the 1895 restored carousel housed in a wonderful building with a 7-ft. weather vane horse covered in gold. This carousel was long the dream of Bud Ellis, in whose Horsin' Around carving school all 52 animals were carved. Included on the Dentzel carousel are a 400-pound elephant, 2 giraffes, 2 tigers, a lion, camel, pig, bear, 2 cats, 2 giraffes, 2 rabbits (one in a University of Tennessee vest), a frog, a fish, a baby dinosaur, a Tennessee Walker, a bronco, a mule, a ram, the Medal of Honor horse with an American flag and Coolidge's face carved on the back, and other horses galore, all hand carved by students in Chattanooga. Two restored chariots also grace the carousel, along with 500 lights, 36 mirrors and 18 scenes painted by a local artist.

Some 300,000 people have ridden the carousel in less than a year.

The park also has a pavilion, great open spaces, a stage on the riverside and a wonderful fountain area where children can dance and climb on 8 huge animals spouting water.

A replica of the Medal of Honor is formed by some of the structures and landscaping in the park.


Dr. Wagner's Honey Island Swamp Tours
Slidell, Louisiana

My husband and I both work at a family and friend run business in Slidell, La. called Dr. Wagner's Honey Island Swamp Tours. We also live on the swamp and my children all grew up here.

The swamp is so beautiful and pristine I think many people would enjoy seeing the
beauty of the sunrise, egret, blue herons, turtles and alligators among the moss-draped trees as they drift past the blooming water lilies and irises along the banks.

I know all who watch on Sunday morning would enjoy the beauty.


Ozark Folk Center
Mountain View, Arkansas

Check out the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas, a state park at which the life and times of the Ozark people before 1920 are interpreted. The gardens are beautiful, the people are friendly and eager to explain crafts they have learned through the oral tradition of generations. The music is lively and fun, not performed by professionals but by local people, families and friends who come to the Ozark Folk Center stage just to have fun playing their music.

Just 18 miles or so from the Ozark Folk Center, the Blanchard Springs Caverns, called one of the most beautiful live cavern systems in the world, is carefully manged by the US Forest Service.
Little Rock, Arkansas

Chapel of the Holy Cross
Sedona, Arizona

It's "the monsoon season" in Arizona and one of my favorite diversions is to drive to the Chapel of the Holy Cross in the Red Rock region between Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek. The spectacle of an afternoon thunderstorm across the Verde Valley is a diversion beyond any words! The chapel is a worthwhile diversion in itself.

Waswagoning Ojibway Village
Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin

A special place that is near and dear to our hearts is Nick & Charlotte Hockings' Waswagoning Ojibway Village, a recreated Ojibway village. It is a wonderful place to learn the history of the people, also called the Chippewas, indigenous to northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. You get to see how people lived 200 years ago in encampments based on the cycle of the four seasons.

American Classical Music Hall Of Fame

Several years ago Charles Osgood hosted the first American Classical Music Hall of Fame inductees ceremony in Cincinnati. Since that ceremony, 51 notables of classical music have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. There is now a museum in downtown Cincinnati dedicated to American classic music.


Summer Jazz Series at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery
Buffalo, New York

On Sundays in July and August, local jazz groups perform free concerts for the community. The concerts are from 2:00-4:30 p.m. on the grounds of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, housed in a building from the 1901 Pan-American Exposition. People gather on the grassy slope behind the gallery, where there's a splendid view of Hoyt Lake, the centerpiece of the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Delaware Park in the heart of the city. The musical groups are Buffalo-based, often featuring musicians with national reputations such as pianist Al Tinney and saxophonist Bobby Militello.

Dumbarton Oaks House and Gardens
Washington D.C.

The house and grounds of the magnificent Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection in Washington, maintained by Harvard University, have colorful garden rooms, terraces and pools. The museum of pre-Columbian art and artifacts from South and entral America, in a modern addition to the house, should not be missed. The museum is free while there is a fee for the gardens.

Cypress Gardens
Charleston, South Carolina

I would like to recommend Cypress Gardens of Charleston, South Carolina. It has an atrium full of plants and butterflies and a beautiful wood duck that thinks he's human. He coos and talks to you as you come by his area and gets very distressed when you walk on past him. He even tries to follow you out the door! There are nature trails and boat rides through a cypress-filled fresh-water lake.

Wellsboro, Pennsylvaniacolor>

My family and I just vacationed in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. What's significant and beautiful about this area is its gas-lit streets and stately Victorian mansions dating back to the early 1800s.

The highlight of our trip was a self-guided tour of Pennsylvania's Grand Canyon, formed by the Pine Creek River. This site is approximately 50 miles long and 1,000 feet deep. It is absolutely breathtaking! I'm sure other viewers of your program will be just as amazed at one of God's magnificent creations as we were.

Giant City Lodge
Makanda, Illinois

Any Sunday here in Southern Illinois, people flock to the Giant City Lodge for family style fried chicken dinners with all the fixings. This outstanding item is all you can order at the lodge on Sundays! The lodge building itself, and the 3,600-acre state park around it, vie with the food for top billing. The lodge was built from local large tree timbers by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. The park nestled in the Shawnee National Forest, the largest national forest east of the Mississippi River. For more on the park and the lodge, see the state of Illinois site.
D.N.& S.B.

Historic Arrow Rock

and Jim the Wonder Dog Park
Marshall, Missouri


Marshall has two great diversions. Historic Arrow Rock was a launching point for the Santa Fe Trail. There are historic building tours, old time activities, a repertory theater and shops. And, we have a memorial park to Jim the Wonder Dog, who could respond to commands in Italian, French, German and Spanish.
C.& P.S.

The Appalachian Museum

At the Museum of Appalachia in Norris, just north of Knoxville, John Rice Irwin has a vastion collection of Appalachian memorabilia. You'll see household items, musical instruments, tools, farm items, even farm animals, and anything else you can think of that was used by the hard-working people of Appalachia. It's like a walk into the past.
Knoxville, Tennessee

The Old Blandford Church
Petersburg, Virginia

The Old Blandford Church in Petersburg, Virginia, is a little-known gem. Built in 1735, it is surrounded by a dramatic old cemetery. But what makes it unique are its 15 recently restored stained glass windows commissioned by the Confederate states after the civil war to commemorate their soldiers. The windows were designed and executed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, and are simply magnificent. They are treasures of American art, and are so accessible that visiting them is like a breath of fresh air compared to the more famous - and crowded - attractions.
Richmond, Virginia

The Museum of Science & Industry

I would like to recommend the Titanic exhibition currently at the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago. The exhibit will be on display through Sept. 4. Even though I'm 13, I always look forward to watching your show each Sunday

El Dorado Nature Center
south of Los Angeles

Just south of Los Angeles in Long Beach, there's a step into Yosemite, the Canadian Rockies and the Vermont countryside! The El Dorado Nature Center features amazing trails that wind for miles through meadows and pine forests, tree-covered bridges that cross streams, lakes full of water fowl, paths that abound with small animals and the beautiful song of birds in competition. Once inside, you are totally unaware that you are in the middle of a city. There are many organized activities at the Nature Center: bird watching, campfires, night walks, astronomy lectures. But my favorite activity is to walk the trails and enjoy the quiet replenishment of spirit that comes with being in such natural surroundings.

This week, my grandson is taking the "Leaping Lizards" class. He will look for lizards and snakes, read about lizards, explore the park and paint and build lizards. At the center building there are live exhibits and teaching drawers full of feathers, bones and fossils. They even have an x-ray light and x-rays of birs and small animals. Kids love the Nature Center.

The center is free. The community is welcome to learn, explore and relax. The people who work there and who walk there are uncommonly friendly.

near Quebec City

Yes, there are all kinds of Irish, even French-Irish like me, and most of our ancestors in North America passed through Grosse-Ile near Quebec city in the middle of the St. Lawrence River. This site has been re-opened for tourists and is very special to visit, especially if your ancestors were Irish. The Irish people who came through here settled all over America, through le Chemin Craig (Craig road) from Québec city to Boston, leaving some traces in village names like Kinnear's Mill, Inverness and Leeds.

Hawk Mountain
Kempton, Pennsylvania

In Kempton, Pennsylvania, just north of Reading, is Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, one of the world's premier observation points for the fall migration of birds of prey. Just as its geography pulls birds along its ridge from the uppermost reaches of North America, so also the migration itself pulls the quietly faithful, armed with patience, binoculars, and giddy anticipation. On crisp, golden September days, with the clearest of blues in the sky spread over a quilt of an autumn valley, as many as 10,000 raptors a day may pass overhead. On the mountain, on any given day, you will find veteran bird watchers, seniors you've never met who have wonderful memories to share of their visits here. You'll also find first-timers and children, and be able to see and hear in them the same joy you felt on your first visit. The drive to the mountain alone is a tonic to the spirit (despite the chill as I pass by Schaumboch's haunted tavern). I can't think of a better Sunday Diversion. You'll find me there.

The U.S.S. Constitutioncolor>

I live in central Connecticut close to New London and Mystic but I find myself wanting to wander to Boston to visit the U.S.S.Constitution. The sight of its majestic spars and scrollwork on the fore and aft of the ship are superb. The shipyard has change immensely since I was stationed there, but has managed to maintain the old flavor. The museum at the shipyard is very good, but not as good as the ship itself. All of the
viewers of CBS Sunday Morning deserve the chance to visit with the oldest commissioned ship in the U.S. Navy.
(an old salt and swabby)

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