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Super Tuesday: Totem poles, maple syrup and Graceland win my vote

March 06, 2012|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • A totem along the trail in Sitka National Historical Park in Sitka, Alaska.
A totem along the trail in Sitka National Historical Park in Sitka, Alaska. (National Park Service )

Super Tuesday primary voters and caucus members are busy weighing their picks for the presidential nomination. I'm more interested in what there is to see in Super Tuesday states. Here are my picks for the top tourist stops. What are yours? Go ahead and "vote" by leaving me a comment.

Alaska (caucus): Totem poles, some authentic, some replicas, stand tall along the Totem Trail that snakes through two miles of lush forest in Sitka National Historical Park in downtown Sitka. It's the oldest federal park in Alaska.

Georgia (primary): Even if you haven't read "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," Savannah is a great place to take a movie site tour or just soak up the amazing architecture, cemeteries and culture of the state's oldest city.

Idaho (caucus): It's not near any main drag, but Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument in Hagerman holds the real deal in terms of Ice Age bones. The Hagerman Horse, which, the park's website says, would look more like a zebra than a modern-day horse, camel and mastodon once grazed here. It's about an hour and a half from Boise.

Massachusetts (primary): There's so much history and culture crammed into such a small state that, in the end, it's a tie: the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail from Boston Common to Paul Revere House and the Old State House in Boston, and the quintessentially remote Walden Pond in Concord, made famous by Thoreau's musings.

North Dakota (caucus): The Badlands area has a rocky, rugged landscape with lots of current (bison, deer, prairie dogs) and ancient (rhinos, horses, saber-toothed cats) wildlife. It's a great place to check out the night sky program where the Milky Way is almost always visible.

Ohio (primary): Hail to the chief at these one-time homes of presidents Grant, Hayes, Harding, Taft and Garfield. Runners-up, for some pop culture relief: the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland.

Oklahoma (primary): Another tie to two places that tell the story of icons of the West: The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City and the Cherokee Cultural Center in Tahlequah.

Tennessee (primary): Thirty-five years ago, Elvis Presley died at his beloved Graceland. The Memphis landmark serves as a pilgrimage for fans and the keeper of the King's flame. There's a Super Tuesday contest for some fine election booty: Elvis for President 2012 buttons and bumper stickers.

Vermont (primary): March is the perfect month to visit to sugar houses throughout the state to experience "maple madness," or the annual making of maple syrup. The official Open House Weekend gets under way March 24 and 25 -- and remember, no more than 3 ounces if you plan to take home maple syrup in your hand-carry luggage.

Virginia (primary): Like Ohio, this is another state with a preponderance of presidential hot spots. My vote has to go to Mt. Vernon, the home of George Washington, in northern Virginia. Seeing his home and farm on the Potomac River, it's no wonder our first president chose to leave Washington and return to life in this idyllic countryside.

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