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From the Mods: What To See and Do In My Town (U.S. Edition)

With a network of 10,000+ Mods all over the world, you’d be hard-pressed to go to any corner of the globe and not find a ModSquad representative nearby. With our teammates plugged into so many towns, cities, and regions, we thought it would be fun to find out what they think are the highlights of their locales.

In the first installment of this series, we’re focusing on Mods in the United States. From the East Coast to the West Coast, North to South, we’ll find out what visitors typically do when they come to our home towns — and what they really should be doing. Nothing beats travel tips from a local! Without further ado, let’s set out on our virtual road trip.

Nashville, TN

What people typically do: Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and walk down Broadway.
What they should do: Taste some Nashville hot chicken and hear jazz and bluegrass in Printer’s Alley. Broadway is very tourist heavy, but just off to the side is Printer’s Alley with better music and history. Hot chicken is just the best thing ever to eat when out on the town.

—Kevin Dubenbostel

New Orleans, LA

What people typically do: Hit Bourbon Street and the French Quarter.
What they should do: In addition to riding the “drinking” float on Bourbon Street, our guests should try a po’ boy with a pineapple Big Shot, test their luck at Harrah’s casino, taste a snowball (yes, it’s different than a snow-cone), take the Riverboat to the Westbank, and hang out on the shores. New Orleans is a gumbo pot of many cultures, sites, and people. Once you taste the city you won’t want to leave, but when you do, New Orleans steals a piece of your heart. Try the city from the eyes of a local. Laissez les bon temps roulez! (Let the good times roll!)

—Shay Goudia

Virginia Beach, VA

What people typically do: Go to the beach.
What they should do: Visit the historical sights just outside of Hampton roads (i.e., Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown) as well as the amazing historical parks (i.e., First Landing National Park). And don’t miss the Aquarium and Chesapeake Bay. There is so much history and culture in this area. This is where the country began. Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown have historical areas where you step back in time and see how life was for them at that time. The Aquarium in Virginia Beach is filled with local wildlife and displays how this area evolved through time. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has parks that are educational and fun for all ages.

—Wanika De Doelder

Longwood, FL

What people typically do: People generally come to this side of town to visit the beautiful Wekiwa Springs reservation. This is an absolute gem of a town nested on the outskirts of Orlando, “The City Beautiful.”
What they should do: Nothing! It’s Florida! Because you don’t “do” in Florida, you just live!

—Amanda Hayworth

Indianapolis, IN

What people typically do: Go shopping downtown or see the Indy 500.
What they should do: Give the state parks a try. We might be a pretty flat state with no hills or mountains, but we have amazing forests and some pretty neat cave systems.

—Kay Schneider

Council Bluffs, IA (across the river from Omaha, NE)

What people typically do: Keep on driving.
What they should do: Visit the zoo! It’s been named the best in the world (for real!), and it’s awesome.

—Susie South

Washington, DC

What people typically do: Visit the national museums.
What they should do: Sure, the museums are worth a visit, but make time to see the gorgeous state, county, and city parks all over Virginia. It’s so amazing that these wonderful parks are so close to our capitol, are decently funded, and have great information and helpful staff. You’ll be blown away by all the animals and history in each park.

—Michael Marcantel

Chicago, IL

What people typically do: Eat Chicago food, pizza, Italian beef sandwiches, and hot dogs.
What they should do: Go downtown! There’s a lot to see: Lake Michigan, museums, many cool buildings, and tons of shopping. Take in a concert or a Cubs game. Even with all there is to do in Chicago, it seems like everyone who comes here wants to eat and eat! I guess I’m spoiled by the Chicago food!

—Janice Wiodarek

Seattle, WA

What people typically do: Visit the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and Pioneer Square.
What they should do: Seattle is known for its many different neighborhoods, each with their own feel and flavor, so they should be explored and experienced. The typical tourist fare mentioned above are all pretty much in close proximity to one another in the downtown area of Seattle. It would be a shame to spend all of your time in this one area when the city has so many different and quite eclectic neighborhoods to check out. I would definitely suggest Ballard, Capitol Hill, and Freemont (with its famous troll). With so many different neighborhoods to see, you’re certain to find something different and delightful in each and every one!

—Corey Clemans

Miami, FL

What people typically do: Go to Miami Beach, particularly the South Beach area. Some go clubbing on Ocean Drive. Others go jet-skiing or scuba diving. Many visitors go to the Everglades to take airboat rides, some take in alligator wrestling shows, and others visit the Florida Keys for fishing and water sports.
What they should do: Take a food tour! If you’re the exploring type, go experience the city on your own or with a tour group; some tours cover cuisine samples from different countries. Miami is more than just great beaches and nightclubs; it’s a city with large communities from different countries and cultures. These groups bring their own food, celebrations, and music. The larger communities are mostly gathered together in certain areas of the city, like Little Haiti (Haiti), Little Havana (Cuba), and Little Managua (Nicaragua). Name the country and it´s here. Be sure to tour historic Miami.

Visit the great buildings from the ‘20s in downtown Miami, like the Cultural Center and the Freedom Tower. See the Art Deco buildings in South Beach. Stop into the Wolfsonian-FIU Museum, the Holocaust Memorial, and a Spanish Monastery that was built in Segovia, Spain in 1141 and later dismantled, brought to Miami, and rebuilt in 1952. In addition, the city of Coral Gables is a great place to visit more buildings and homes from the 1920s, such as the popular Venetian Pool. The luxurious Biltmore Hotel once housed Al Capone; Tarzan actor Johnny Weissmuller used to dive form the upper floor into the pool. In the Coconut Grove area, visit the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens if you want to travel back in time, and check out the Planetarium and other historic buildings from the city’s early years.

—Matilde Sanabria

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