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Linda Aksomitis 2015

Every travel destination and attraction, no matter where it’s located, how big or how important it is, has something to offer visitors. During my travels this year, 2015, these were the 10 best attractions, events and destinations I enjoyed.

Best Attractions: Historic

My favorite historic attractions give me insight into what it would be like to live in another time and culture–the further from my own experience, the better. And nothing was more unfamiliar to me than the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City, Missouri. The Penitentiary, built in 1836, was once the largest in the U.S. and housed 5200 inmates at its peak. Now, after closing as a correctional institution in 2004, the Penitentiary is open for public tours except for the winter season. The tour guides were excellent, recounting various stories of the inmates, and providing access to a number of areas including the gas chamber where 40 men breathed their last fresh air along with the sodium cyanide that took their lives. What made me add this attraction to my 2015 list: the eerie, even horrific, look at what it was like to have been incarcerated in a penitentiary.

Missouri State Penitentiary

Best Attractions: Agritourism Destination

Coming from Saskatchewan, agriculture is a daily topic in my home, in the coffee shop, and on the news. This year, Wisconsin captured my interest for its many agritourism opportunities. I visited in June and July and sampled a lot of local color as well as flavors from cheese to cherries, and microbreweries to fish boils. My favorites:

  1. Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival in Little Chute.
  2. Stone Cellar Brew Pub in Appleton.
  3. Rowleys Bay Resort traditional Fish Boil in Ellison Bay.
  4. Seaquist Orchards Farm Market in Sister Bay

Seaquist Farm

Best Attractions: Expo and Racing Event

After racing snowmobiles for a decade, it’s safe to say that I’m hooked on the sport–that and in my “spare” time I’m building an online snowmobile encyclopedia (unfortunately, I don’t seen to have much of that spare time to work on it!). This year the best snowmobile event we attended was the Haydays Expo, swap meet, and drag race in Blaine, Minnesota. The best part? Wandering through the expo and seeing all the latest in snowmobile technology.