Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.


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Appreciating Alabama’s Architectural Heritage

Steiner-Lobman and Teague Hardware BuildingsIn between outdriving projected tornado paths through central Alabama and enduring a fierce electrical storm that knocked out power in my hotel in Montgomery, I had ample time to explore many of the state’s highlights, from a massive battleship to a lazy cruise on the Alabama River to key civil rights sites. Through it all, I kept admiring some remarkable structures, many of historical and architectural significance that have become national landmarks over the years. Read more about the top five buildings in Alabama >

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The Best Ways to Spend Some Time in Bismarck, North Dakota

Keelboat Park, Bismarck, North DakotaOf all the people I know who have gone to Bismarck (a number that is, quite truthfully, very tiny), none intended to have a wild, rollicking, what-happens-there-stays-there time. The capital of North Dakota is calm and quiet, and the residents seem to like it that way. So, if you’re seeking the flash of, say, Minneapolis, you won’t find it here, even though the city has been growing by double-digit percentages every decade since 1880. But if you live a frenetic lifestyle and want a shift of gears, and if you remain observant, you’ll find some lovely gems. Read more about the top five things to see and do in Bismarck >


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Beauty and History in Montgomery’s Best Buildings

State Capitol, Montgomery, AlabamaNamed for Richard Montgomery, an Irish-born soldier who became a major general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, Alabama’s second-largest city has earned numerous national accolades, including being cited as an All-America City by the National Civic League and the Best Historic City by USA Today in 2014. It was the first U.S. city to install city-wide electric streetcars, the setting for parts of the Academy Award–nominated movie Selma, and the birthplace of Nat King Cole, Zelda Fitzgerald, and Hank Williams, Sr. Walking around this historically rich city, I could feel its legacy oozing from its built environment, whether it was the Baptist church where Martin Luther King Jr. served as pastor, or the executive residence of Jefferson Davis at the start of the Civil War. These are my top five buildings in Montgomery. Read more >