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    Belmont,

    North Carolina

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    Belmont is a small suburban city in Gaston County, North Carolina, United States, located about 13 miles (21 km) west of uptown Charlotte and 9 miles (14 km) east of Gastonia. The population was 10,076 at the 2010 census. Once known as Garibaldi Station, the name change for Belmont is disputed. Some say it was named for the prominent New York banker August Belmont. Others contend the Pope ordered the abbot of the monastery to change the name since he would not tolerate an abbey in a place that bore the Garibaldi name. The abbot could see Crowder's mountain from the property and named the town Belmont - "beautiful mountain". Belmont is home to Belmont Abbey College.
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    Inspiration

    Celebrate 100 years of women's suffrage with these monuments

    August 18, 2020 marks a century since the ratification of the 19th constitutional amendment granting the right to vote regardless of gender. Since far before and after 1920, women of all backgrounds across the U.S. have been championing civil rights and other issues of the day. While landmarks, monuments and memorials to suffragettes and female civil rights advocates might have limited hours or be inaccessible due to COVID-19 mandates, you could walk or drive past some of them. Here is where to begin: Alabama Montgomery’s Dexter Avenue is along the route of the bus that Rosa Parks would board and refuse to give up her seat to a white man in 1955; a life-size statue of Parks stands there. Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum and Library on Montgomery Street is dedicated to Parks’ action and the subsequent Montgomery Bus Boycott. California In San Diego’s Arts District Liberty Station, the Women’s Museum of California preserves her-story by teaching about various women’s experiences and contributions. Colorado In Denver’s Capitol Hill, the Molly Brown House Museum showcases the famous Titanic survivor who helped to organize the Conference of Great Women in 1914 in Newport, while the Center for Colorado Women’s History tells about this topic through exhibits and lectures. In Colorado Springs, a statue of entertainer and philanthropist Fannie Mae Duncan, who owned and integrated the city’s first jazz club, stands outside the Pikes Peak Center. Connecticut In Canterbury, the Prudence Crandall Museum honors Connecticut’s Official State Heroine who ran a higher education academy for African American women until mob violence forced her school to close. In Hartford, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is where the “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” author and activist once lived. It now serves as a museum and a forum for social justice and change. Delaware The Old State House in Dover’s First State Heritage Park was where suffragists Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Mary Ann Sorden Stuart addressed Delaware legislators in support of a state constitutional amendment in favor of women’s suffrage. The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway crosses into Kent and New Castle counties in Delaware but comes from Maryland’s Eastern Shore and concludes in Philadelphia. It encompasses 45 sites linked to Tubman, who also supported women’s suffrage, plus others who sought freedom from enslavement. District of Columbia In Capitol Hill, the Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument was the headquarters for the National Women’s Party; it’s named for Alice Paul, the party’s founder, and Alva Belmont, a major benefactor. In Lincoln Park, the Mary McLeod Bethune Statue is the first to honor an African American woman in a D.C. public park; her home, now the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House, was the first location for the National Council of Negro Women. In Northwest D.C., the Mary Church Terrell House is for the founder and president of the National Association of Colored Women who successfully fought to integrate dining spots in D.C. Florida The Eleanor Collier McWilliams Monument on Tampa’s Riverwalk Historical Monument Trail highlights women's rights pioneer who has been credited with starting the women's suffrage movement in Florida. Illinois Now a private residence, in Chicago’s Douglas neighborhood, the Ida B. Wells-Barnett House was where civil rights advocate and journalist Ida B. Wells, and her husband, Ferdinand Lee Barnett, resided for almost 20 years. Wells led an anti-lynching crusade across the U.S. and fought for woman’s suffrage. Kentucky The SEEK Museum in Russellville has put on display a life-size bronze statue of civil rights pioneer Alice Allison Dunnigan – the first female African American admitted to the White House, Congressional and Supreme Court press corps – at a park adjacent to its Payne-Dunnigan house on East 6th Street. In Lexington, at Ashland, the estate of Henry Clay, a marker honors Madeline McDowell Breckinridge, Clay’s great-granddaughter, social reformer and suffragist. Maryland Along the Harriet Tubman Byway, the Bucktown Village Store in Cambridge is where a young Tubman would defy an overseer’s order and was impacted by a resulting head injury. At Historic St. Mary’s City in Southern Maryland, learn about Margaret Brent, an 17th century woman asking the colony’s leaders for voting rights. In Baltimore, the Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum was home to this predominant Civil Rights leader and president of the city’s NAACP branch. Massachusetts The Boston Women’s Heritage Trail encompass various neighborhoods and the women who lived in or are connected to them; their Women’s Suffrage Trail goes by stops such as the Boston Women’s Memorial. In Adams, the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum highlights what would influence this suffragist’s early life. Michigan In Battle Creek, where she lived out her final years, the Sojourner Truth Monument in Monument Park honors this abolitionist, suffragist and orator. Minnesota The Minnesota Woman Suffrage Memorial Garden at the Capitol Mall in St. Paul has a 94-foot steel trellis with the names of 25 key Minnesota suffragists. A series of steel tablets shares the story of the fight for women’s suffrage in this state. New Jersey The New Jersey Women’s Heritage Trail includes sites such as the Paulsdale, the childhood home of suffragette Alice Stokes Paul that’s now part of the Alice Paul Institute. New Mexico Now the staff offices for the Georgia O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe, the Alfred M. Bergere House was where Adelina (Nina) Otero Warren, a noted suffragist, author and business woman lived. She headed the New Mexico chapter of the Congressional Union (a precursor to the National Woman’s Party). New York In Seneca Falls, the Women’s Rights National Historical Park contains the Wesleyan Chapel, where the First Women’s Rights Convention met, and the home of suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Harriet Tubman lived out the rest of her life in Auburn at Harriet Tubman National Historical Park. In Rochester, see the Susan B. Anthony Museum & House and take a selfie with “Let’s Have Tea,” the statue of Anthony with her friend Frederick Douglass in Anthony Square. The Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde Park is the only one of its kind to a U.S. First Lady. Shirley Chisholm State Park in Brooklyn is named for first African American Congresswoman and the first woman and African American to run for president. Ohio An “Ohio Women in History” road itinerary lists eight stops including Oberlin College, which first granted undergrad degrees to women in a co-ed setting, and the Upton House and Women's Suffrage Museum in Warren, which recognizes Ohio suffragists. In Akron, a historical marker for Sojourner's Truth "Ain't I A Woman" speech commemorates where the church she spoke at once stood. Tennessee In Nashville, the Hermitage Hotel was used as a headquarters by suffragists to secure Tennessee’s ratification. Centennial Park is where the Tennessee Woman Suffrage Monument depicts five suffragists -- Carrie Chapman Catt, Sue Shelton White, J. Frankie Pierce, Anne Dallas Dudley and Abby Crawford Milton. Knoxville’s Tennessee Woman Suffrage Memorial depicts suffragists Lizzie Crozier French of Knoxville, Anne Dallas Dudley of Nashville, and Elizabeth Avery Meriwether of Memphis. Texas In downtown Dallas, Fair Park has a women’s history lesson where the 1893 State Fair featured a woman’s congress of over 300 women. During its 1913-1917 years, the fair’s Suffrage Day had local suffragists coming to promote women’s voting rights. Houston’s Barbara Jordan Park is named for this Civil Rights activist who was both the first African elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction and the first Southern African-American woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. The Christia Adair Park features a mural depicting Adair’s devotion to gaining equal rights for blacks and women. Virginia In downtown Richmond, at Broad and Adams streets, a statue of Maggie L. Walker honors this civil rights activist and entrepreneur. Nearby, Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site represents more about accomplishments, including being the first woman to serve as president of a bank in the U.S. At the Virginia State Capital, the Virginia Women’s Monument features Walker and artist and suffragist Adele Clark among its 12 statues of women from across the Commonwealth. In Richmond’s Capitol Square, Virginia Civil Rights Memorial honors Barbara Johns, a Civil Rights activist led the first non-violent student demonstration in 1951. Wyoming In Laramie, the Wyoming House For Historic Women has an outdoor sculpture of Louisa Swain, who was the first woman to cast a ballot; it’s a block away from where she did that. Then, the Wyoming Women’s Suffrage Pathway includes part of South Pass City; it’s home to Esther Morris, the first woman to serve in the office as Justice of the Peace.

    Inspiration

    Going Beyond The Beach In Grenada

    In the Caribbean, clear turquoise water and soft white sand are a dime a dozen. The sensory appeal of Grenada's magnificent beaches is undeniable, but savvy visitors venture beyond the sun, sand, and sea. This compact island pleases with a trifecta of adventure, activities, and nature. The best part: its manageable size makes it easy to cover a lot of ground in a short time frame. Nicknamed the Spice Island, locally grown nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon gently perfume the sea air. Island cooks utilize these aromatics in scrumptious ways, so prepare your palate for culinary magic. The tourist footprint is relatively light, so expect to be embraced by locals. Ripe for development, now is the time to explore Grenada's unspoiled flora and fauna. Here are 10 ways to go beyond the beach in Grenada. Explore Grand Etang National Park and Rainforest Preserve Nestled in the heart of Grenada's lush interior lies Grand Etang, an unblemished rainforest and wildlife sanctuary. A cobalt blue lake is its sparkling showpiece. Be on the lookout for exotic birds and playful Mona monkeys as you hike the winding trails. Try a guided tubing tour down the river Grenada Adventure Tours offers thrill-seekers tubing excursions down the Balthazar River. Spin, swirl, and slide as the current carries you along. The shady vegetation and cool water are just right on a steamy day, plus, you'll be outfitted with a life jacket, helmet, and professional guide the entire length of the trip. Check out the Belmont Estate Belmont Estate is a locavore's wonderland. Visitors to this 300-year-old plantation get a first-hand glimpse of how passionate Grenadians are about preserving their traditional agricultural practices. 400 acres of gardens and rolling hills produce a bounty of tropical fruits and organic vegetables. A herd of goats provide milk for the cheeses that are served in the open-air restaurant. Chocolate is produced on the estate, so you'll commune with Willy Wonka as you observe the bean-to-bar method. Go behind the scenes at a rum distillery River Antoine Rum Distillery is the oldest functioning water-propelled distillery in the entire Caribbean and the rum is made in much the same manner that it was 200 years ago. Watch the process and sample away. You may purchase the potent spirit in the shop, but note that much of it has such high alcohol content that it's considered too flammable to bring home on the plane. Visit a nutmeg factory It's not called the spice island for nothing. An assortment of fragrant spices flourish here, but none is more globally prized than nutmeg. At the Gouyave Nutmeg Processing Station, visitors join an informative tour, observing the various stages of the grading and classification process. Best of all, the tour only costs a buck. Don't forget fish Friday Each Friday night, the village of Gouyave is transformed into an open-air eatery that draws islanders and visitors alike to its famed Fish Friday where dozens of vendors cook just-caught seafood over open fires. Homegrown spices add gentle complexity to even ordinary dishes. Epicureans who crave the taste of the sea combined with authentic local color won't want to miss a single bite. Spend time exploring Market Square Everyone needs to eat to live, but Grenada appeals to those who live to eat. St. George is the bustling capital city and its market is a feast for the senses. They say that anything can grow in Grenada's rich volcanic soil and a stroll around the market confirms this. Papaya, mango, breadfruit, and leafy green callaloo are top produce picks. The assortment of spices is outstanding and the intoxicating smells may put your taste buds into overdrive. Go back in time at the island's historic Forts Grenada's complex history has seen its share of bloodshed and includes a U.S. military invasion in the 1980s. While it is extremely safe today, its strategic location means it is loaded with venerable military fortifications and visiting one of them is an essential element in understanding the island's past. Hilltop Fort Frederick commands a panoramic view while imposing Fort George is equally stately. Visit the world's first underwater sculpture park If the natural splendor of a coral reef isn't enough for you, grab your snorkel mask and head to Grenada's Underwater Sculpture Park. Sculptor Jason de Caires Taylor's artistic gem explores the relationship between art and the environment. This manmade wonder is located in fairly shallow waters, so even novices can sneak a peak. See wonderful waterfalls There are many spots to refresh under the cascade of cool water. Popular waterfalls include three-tiered Concord Falls and Annandale Falls, easy to reach via paved trail. Where to stay Sandals La Source is an all-inclusive resort located on stunning Pink Gin Beach. It's a two-minute ride from the airport, so you can be on the beach within minutes of clearing customs. Besides locally inspired cuisine and top-shelf alcohol, all non-motorized water sports are included in your rate—divers will appreciate this policy, as Grenada is every bit as breathtaking below the water as above it. Experts consider it one of the top wreck dive sites in the world with over 20 shipwrecks.  Best times to visit Grenadians know how to party, or "lime" in local speak so try and plan your visit to coincide with one of the island's numerous festivals. The premier event is Carnival aka Spicemas, held each August. In the spring, Chocolate Fest pays homage to this country's favorite confection. If you're lucky enough to visit in winter, get better acquainted with this country's seafaring traditions during the Grenada Sailing Festival. This article was written by Allison Tibaldi, a native New Yorker who has lived in Rome, Tuscany, Melbourne, Toronto, and Los Angeles. She is fluent in Italian and Spanish and laughably adequate in French. When she's not traveling, she's scouring NYC for delectable eats. As a freelance travel writer, she focuses on family, culinary, and car-free travel. She's also a senior travel writer at offMetro.com.

    Inspiration

    Bermuda: My favorite weekend escape from New York

    Last month, when my roommate suggested I join him on his work trip to Bermuda, I balked: There's no way, I thought, I can afford a last-minute trip to an island getaway.* Plus, beach vacations generally aren't my bag. If I'm going to splurge on travel, I usually choose to do so by immersing myself into a cool culture—food, drink, art, etc.—not whiling away a whole weekend on the sand. Luckily, I was wrong on both fronts. The more I looked into Bermuda (and the more I had to hear my roommate prattle on about how cool it was), the more I wanted to go: The place has history. Little did I know, it was the first successful English settlement in the Americas. The town of St. George's dates back all the way to 1612. And even today, it has a big expat population from the U.K. (Curries served in pubs is common fare in Bermuda). I've been hankering to get back to England since I studied abroad there in college. Now, maybe, was my chance to get a taste of British culture—with some beautiful beaches thrown in—for a fraction of the cost. Plus, I learned, Michael Douglas was born there. He and Catherine Zeta have a house there. Who doesn't want to spot Gordon Gekko in his native habitat? I was sold. So, less than two weeks before my roommate's departure date, I frantically scrambled to join the party. Lo and behold, I managed to book a nonstop flight from Newark to Bermuda's Hamilton International for $213. My roommate scoured the Web and secured a discounted rate at a newly renovated resort, the Newstead Belmont Hills. We invited two more friends along to siphon the cost (and add to the fun, of course), and that was that. We were off! The flight went seamlessly: I caught an 11:55 a.m. out of Newark—and was in my bikini, relaxing by the Newstead's infinity pool, by 4 p.m. We watched the sun dip down from our room's private balcony! Then we caught a $6 cab ride, around the bay, into the capital town of Hamilton. My roommate's friend from work, a 20-something Australian who live on Bermuda, was nice enough to show us around, so I felt like less of a clueless tourist than I might have otherwise. He took us for British pub fare at the Hog Penny: I tried the steak and kidney pie (flakey crust and delicious cuts of meat), and my friends had fish and chips (they gobbled it up before I could snatch a bite and said it was great). The Australian also insisted we try Bermuda's two signature drinks: the Dark & Stormy, made with rum and ginger beer (too strong for my liking), and the Rum Swizzle, a fruitier concoction that went down a lot smoother. Finally we danced it off at The Pickled Onion down the block. Saturday, we caught a free shuttle from the Newstead across the island to Elbow Beach: a quiet white-sand strip that looks out across some of the clearest, most turquoise water I've ever seen. We spent the morning watching the kiteboarders and swimming, then hoofed it back to our hotel. There's a convenient, well-marked footpath that runs alongside sprawling farms and gardens and cuts across the island, and we were back at the Newstead in twenty minutes. That night, we caught another ride into Hamilton from a friendly cab driver, who claimed the Douglas family as his close friends (sadly, the closest I got to a spotting). He recommended a few restaurants for us to try, and we opted for his Italian suggestion: Little Venice. I ordered gnocchi, with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes: divine. The four of us were scheduled to fly out Sunday afternoon, so we woke up early and made the most of the infinity pool and hot tub all the morning. (Temperatures hovered in the low 70's so a combo of both felt best.) The weekend had gone by too quickly, but I felt like I'd gotten my money's worth. Our suite at the Newstead, with two double beds and its own private balcony overlooking the Atlantic, ran a pricey $544, but split between me and my three friends (the room comfortably fit all of us), we came out sitting pretty and each paid just $68 a night. And with such a short commute, from the beach back to my apartment in New York City, my vacation-state-of-mind lasted well past its typical shelf life. Now that I've been, I wonder if there aren't other weekend escape options that are just as fun, relaxing, and cheap… So, here I hand the microphone off to you: What's your favorite, affordable, last-minute weekend escape? Tell me your best itineraries, in the comment section below, and we can take a travel cue from each other. That said, here's the rundown: FLY: A recent Kayak search found non-stop flights from NYC's airports to Bermuda's Hamilton International on JetBlue, Continental, and American for as little as $222. (Did I mention the flight's less than two hours long?) Flights from Atlanta started at $305, while Chicago options began at $323. SLEEP: The Newstead Belmont Hills Resort & Spa is a 20-minute walk from Elbow Beach and a five-minute, $6 cab ride from Hamilton. EAT: For British-style pub fare, try the Hog Penny Restaurant & Pub, in Hamilton. Also in the capital is Little Venice, a tasty pasta and wine spot. DANCE: The place to go to get down in Hamilton is The Pickled Onion. SWIM: You'll find gorgeous Elbow Beach on the west shore, near the middle of the skinny island of Bermuda. DEALS: For hand-picked hotel discounts and vacation packages, check out Budget Travel's Real Deals for Bermuda. MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL Just Back From…a Mother-Daughter Trip to Rome & Venice *This post was re-published 4/29 to remove the accidental reference to the Caribbean. Sorry.

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    DESTINATION IN North Carolina

    Charlotte

    Charlotte () is the most populous city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Located in the Piedmont region, it is the county seat of Mecklenburg County. In 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau found that the population was 874,579, making it the 16th-most populous city in the U.S. and the second-largest in the Southeast behind Jacksonville, Florida. The city is the cultural, economic, and transportation center of the Charlotte metropolitan area, whose population ranks 23rd in the U.S., and had a population of 2,660,329, in 2020. The Charlotte metropolitan area is part of a sixteen-county market region or combined statistical area with a 2020 census-estimated population of 2,846,550.Between 2004 and 2014, Charlotte was ranked as the country's fastest-growing metro area, with 888,000 new residents. Based on U.S. Census data from 2005 to 2015, Charlotte tops the U.S. in millennial population growth. It is the third-fastest-growing major city in the United States. Residents are referred to as "Charlotteans".Charlotte is home to the corporate headquarters of Bank of America, Truist Financial, and the east coast headquarters of Wells Fargo, which along with other financial institutions has made it the second-largest banking center in the United States.Among Charlotte's many notable attractions, some of the most popular include the Carolina Panthers (NFL), the Charlotte Hornets (NBA), the Coca-Cola 600, the Wells Fargo Championship, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Charlotte Ballet, Children's Theatre of Charlotte, Carowinds amusement park, and the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Charlotte has a humid subtropical climate. It is located several miles east of the Catawba River and southeast of Lake Norman, the largest man-made lake in North Carolina. Lake Wylie and Mountain Island Lake are two smaller man-made lakes located near the city.