50 States, 50 Unusual Landmarks

NEW YORK: Niagara Falls
Enter the Cave of the Winds for spectacular views of the falls (be forewarned that you'll get wet!) or visit the Daredevil Museum to plot the fates of those who have tried over the years to survive the plunge. www.niagara-usa.com

NORTH CAROLINA: Biltmore Estate
Among the many historic homes in Asheville, Commodore Vanderbilt's is tops; with 250 rooms and 65 fireplaces, it's America's largest private home. The 8,000-acre estate can be explored by hiking, biking, or rafting. www.biltmore.com

This well-preserved Bismarck fort boasts original buildings dating from the 1860s as well as an interpretive center and museum. www.state.nd.us/hist/totten/totten.htm

OHIO: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
A treat for music lovers of all ages, this Cleveland museum shows off artifacts spanning nearly 100 years, from Paul Simon's guitar to John Lennon's report card. Children under 8 are admitted free. www.rockhall.com

OKLAHOMA: Great Salt Plains State Park
Visitors can dig for selenite crystals -- and take them home -- as well as climb an observation tower, fish, swim, picnic, and walk on a nature trail in this lake area around Cherokee. www.greatsaltplains.com

OREGON: Lewis & Clark Trail
Follow the explorers' trail across the state (or choose parts of it), including parks and the Columbia River Gorge (where Lewis & Clark had to find a way around the Cascade Rapids), all the way to Cape Disappointment, home of the oldest functioning lighthouse on the West Coast and a museum of L&C artifacts. www.lcbo.net

Tour private homes, take buggy rides, and enjoy family-friendly theatrical productions in rural Lancaster County, known as Pennsylvania Dutch Country, home of more than 16,000 members of the Amish religious community. www.800padutch.com

RHODE ISLAND: Slater Mill Museum
With period buildings and costumed interpreters, this living history museum in Pawtucket highlights the Industrial Revolution and how it affected daily life in America in the 18th and 19th centuries. www.slatermill.org

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